‘Small-Scale’ Tourism Versus Traditional Tourism: Which Will Be the New Key to Achieve the Desired Sustainable Tourism?

22 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2023

See all articles by Cristina Campos Herrero

Cristina Campos Herrero

University of Cantabria

David Gutiérrez

University of Cantabria

Ana Dias

Universidade de Aveiro - Department of Environment and Planning

Paula Quinteiro

Universidade de Aveiro - Department of Environment and Planning; University of Cantabria

Angel Herrero

University of Cantabria

María Gallego

Universidade de Vigo

Pedro Villanueva

Universidade de Vigo

Jara Laso

University of Cantabria

Jaume Albertí

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Pere Fullana-i-Palmer

Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Renmin University of China - School of International Studies

Alba Bala

Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Renmin University of China - School of International Studies

Lela Mélon

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Ilija Sazdovski

UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF

Mercè Roca

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Ramon Xifré

ESCI

María Margallo

University of Cantabria

Rubén Aldaco

University of Cantabria

Abstract

The tourism sector after COVID-19 has raised different concerns that have lead to a development towards a more sustainable model of tourism. After the health crisis, the increase in environmental awareness of tourists has become evident. In this context, the great paradigm of ‘small-scale’ tourism has been developed as opposed to traditional tourism. The present work seeks to contribute to sustainable development in the Spanish tourism sector, comparing a hostel in Cantabria (considered as  ‘small scale’ /religious  tourism) and a hotel in Lloret de Mar (considered as a traditional tourism) one using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology to verify advantages and disadvantages of both types of tourism. The functional unit (FU) used was ‘per guest night with breakfast included’. The results have revealed  similar results for both establishments in all impact categories, The electricity consumption and the impact of the breakfast in the hostel were identified as main contributors to environmental burdens; hence, improvement opportunities envisaged were focused on these critical points.On the one hand, a biomass boiler, a solar water-heating system and a hybrid solar/biomass heating are considered sustainable alternatives related to electricity consumption. On the other hand, oatmeal, Greek yoghurt and berries are good options for a breakfast with a reduced environmental impact. It’s also important to implement responsible and green practices in order to achieve more environmentally sustainable alternative and traditional accommodations. Therefore, it can be concluded by stating that LCA is a tool capable of identifying and studying the processes with the highest environmental impact in order to find out the most sustainable form of tourism.

Keywords: Life cycle assessment (LCA), Environmental impact, Sustainability, Tourism, Accommodation

Suggested Citation

Campos Herrero, Cristina and Gutiérrez, David and Dias, Ana and Quinteiro, Paula and Herrero, Angel and Gallego, María and Villanueva, Pedro and Laso, Jara and Albertí, Jaume and Fullana-i-Palmer, Pere and Bala, Alba and Mélon, Lela and Sazdovski, Ilija and Roca, Mercè and Xifré, Ramon and Margallo, María and Aldaco, Rubén, ‘Small-Scale’ Tourism Versus Traditional Tourism: Which Will Be the New Key to Achieve the Desired Sustainable Tourism?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4500428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4500428

Cristina Campos Herrero (Contact Author)

University of Cantabria ( email )

David Gutiérrez

University of Cantabria ( email )

Avda. Los Castros, s/n
Santander 39005
Spain

Ana Dias

Universidade de Aveiro - Department of Environment and Planning ( email )

Paula Quinteiro

Universidade de Aveiro - Department of Environment and Planning ( email )

University of Cantabria ( email )

Avda. Los Castros, s/n
Santander 39005
Spain

Angel Herrero

University of Cantabria ( email )

Avda. Los Castros, s/n
Santander 39005
Spain

María Gallego

Universidade de Vigo ( email )

Pedro Villanueva

Universidade de Vigo ( email )

Jara Laso

University of Cantabria ( email )

Jaume Albertí

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Pere Fullana-i-Palmer

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Renmin University of China - School of International Studies ( email )

Alba Bala

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Renmin University of China - School of International Studies ( email )

Lela Mélon

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Ilija Sazdovski

UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF ( email )

Passeig Pujades 1
Barcelona, Barcelona 08003
Spain

Mercè Roca

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Xifré

ESCI ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

María Margallo

University of Cantabria ( email )

Rubén Aldaco

University of Cantabria ( email )

Avda. Los Castros, s/n
Santander 39005
Spain

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