Environmental and self-sufficiency assessment of the energy metabolism of tourist hubs on Mediterranean Islands: The case of menorca (Spain)

Esther Sanyé-Mengual, Héctor Romanos, Catalina Molina, M. Antònia Oliver, Núria Ruiz, Marta Pérez, David Carreras, Martí Boada, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Jordi Duch, Joan Rieradevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Energy performance of island tourism has been analyzed in the literature. However, tourist services tend to concentrate in tourist hubs, especially where mass tourism predominates (e.g., Mediterranean), and the energy metabolism of these systems has not yet been assessed. The present paper models and estimates the energy metabolism of tourist hubs in the Menorca Island (Spain) by integrating social, geographical and environmental methods. Mobility (both external and internal) and consumption of lodging services were characterized through surveys to users (tourists) and business managers. An environmental assessment evaluated CO2 emissions, and energy self-sufficiency potential was estimated via GIS data. The results indicate that, on average, a tourist consumes 4756MJ with associated emissions of 277kg of CO2 per stay (20 days on average). Of all the energy flows, external mobility contributes the most to total emissions (77%). For every day spent in a tourist hub, a tourist consumes between 29MJ and 93MJ in lodging services, consumption that could be 100% satisfied by photovoltaic systems, and these systems would result in positive effects for the island. Sustainable tourism management might focus on promoting environmentally friendly transportation, energy efficient practices, and environmental communication through ecolabeling. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-387
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Carbon emissions
  • Energy modeling
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Tourist hubs
  • Transport

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