Swedish tourism bad for environment

Swedish wanderlust comes at a high environmental price, according to a new study. Stefan Gössling, a lecturer at Lund University, has calculated that ten percent of Sweden's combined carbon dioxide emissions can be traced to the tourism industry.

Gössling carried out his studies in collaboration with Michael Hall, a researcher from New Zealand. Their findings show that Sweden emits double the average for the global tourism industry, which stands at 5 percent, according to United Nations body UNWTO.

The airline sector is the highest contributor, producing a third of the tourism industry’s carbon dioxide emissions, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

Stefan Gössling believes that the tourism industry in Sweden lacks a crisis mentality on the climate change issue.

“Other sectors in society are working to reduce their emissions but the Swedish tourism industry is looking for new travel destinations that are further and further away,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

Lottie Knutson, spokeswoman for tour operator Fritidsresor, disagreed with the researcher’s assessment.

“It’s not the industry that forces customer to travel further and further away. It is entirely a question of demand,” she told Svenska Dagbladet.