Tourism, the energy consumption monster

Tourism, the energy consumption monster

Just a few days ago, a new summer season got underway, with very promising figures expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, tourism accounted for 61% of the growth of the Spanish economy, according to Exceltur, which gives an idea of its impact.

Despite the figures it produces, this sector is considered a "monster" of energy consumption. Tourism accounts for 8% of global CO2 emissions. This is a consequence of the impact of tourists' accommodation, food, transport and leisure activities.

Despite this description, "it is important to highlight that, in our country, some measures are already being taken to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact in the tourism sector", as Luis Claver, country manager of B.E.G Hispania, explains. This company is carrying out dozens of projects in tourist establishments and "many spaces dedicated to this activity are now implementing sustainability practices and energy efficiency measures, renewable sources and proper waste management", as the manager points out.

At the hotel level, there are five areas in which these establishments must work to be environmentally sustainable, according to the company itself. These are sustainable construction and design, water management, circularity, biodiversity and energy efficiency. And it is in this last point that B.E.G. supports accommodation with its technology to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions.

Air conditioning, lighting and domestic hot water alone account for 78% of the energy consumption of hotels. At this point, it should be taken into account that each building is unique, and energy consumption can be significantly reduced by implementing energy efficiency measures. These include lighting control, capable of regulating the level and quality of light in a given space, and proper management not only improves efficiency, but also helps to save resources, because it is used when and where it is most needed.

The use of LED lighting, efficient air conditioning systems and proper thermal insulation improve the final result, as do energy management and control systems and simple water and energy saving guidelines. These initiatives seek to minimise environmental impact and promote more sustainable tourism, and the hotel sector could optimise its operating expenses by up to 40%, as experts point out.

A hotel can consume between 100 and 200 kWh of electricity per square metre. But it is already possible to see how many tourist establishments are implementing sustainability practices. This is the case of hotels in different parts of Spain, such as Club Med Magna Marbella or Golden Bahía de Tossa & Spa (Tossa de Mar), which have made great progress in this field. There are also aids for new energy saving projects in the sector, aimed at financing energy efficiency projects and the circular economy, as has already been approved by the Andalusian Regional Government, for example.

"In Spain we are still far behind and we need more awareness of what is called green tourism. The hotel sector should communicate better the advantages of undertaking energy efficiency measures that consist not only in a mere reduction of energy consumption and costs, but also in a considerable increase in guest comfort and a healthier environment," Claver acknowledges.

In short, good environmental practices not only translate into benefits for the hotels themselves, but also for the environment and society in general, guaranteeing a permanent attraction for the tourist destination.

About B.E.G.

B.E.G. (Brück Electronic GmbH) is a German multinational company that has been on the market for more than 45 years and pioneered the development of motion detectors in the 1980s. Specialising in energy-efficient solutions for lighting control and building automation, BEG systems adapt to all types of applications and installations ensuring scalability and interoperability in any project.

 Author: Caribbean News Digital

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The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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