© Lee, Wang and Zuo
The tourism industry contributes significantly to the growth of the global economy and is considered to be strongly associated with a large amounts of water and energy consumption. In this study, the tourism water footprint (TWF) and the tourism energy footprint (TEF) of 138 sectors were investigated to examine the water-energy-food (W-E-F) nexus in the Chinese tourism industry from 2012 to 2017 by developing the water- and energy-based environmentally extended input-output analysis with the tourism satellite account. This study revealed that the W-E-F supply groups consumed total 15,556 million m3 of water and 4,964 million tce of energy to support the Chinese tourism industry. The largest contributor to the total TWF is the indirect water use from the food supply group (65%), while the largest proportion of total TEF is contributed by the direct energy use from 11 tourism direct sectors (63%), most especially the air transport sector. A much larger growth of the tourism industry was observed in 2017 compared to that of 2012. The structure decomposition analysis revealed that the growth of the overall water and energy consumption of China tourism is mainly driven by the growth of the total tourism expenditure, i.e. the scale effect. It is the same case for the food supply group associated with the Chinese tourism industry. In contrast, the contribution of the changes to the tourism expenditure composition is relatively low. Furthermore, the growth in water and energy consumption can be offset effectively by reducing the water and energy use coefficient and adjusting the economic production structure of tourism and its associated food supply group. In sum, the food supply and air transport sectors play a crucial role in the water-energy-food nexus of the tourism industry. Therefore, in the future, focus should be placed on improving the water and energy use efficiency of these sectors as well as enhancing their production structures.
- W-E-F nexus in water and energy footprint for China tourism were investigated.
- The food supply group contributed largest indirect tourism water footprint.
- The tourism direct sectors produced largest direct tourism energy footprint.
- The tourism expenditure is the top driver for water and energy increments.
- Intensity and economic structure effects can offset water and energy increments.