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

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Sanyé Mengual, Esther ; Romanos Pueyo, Héctor ; Molina Roig, Catalina ; Oliver Mascaró, M. Antònia ; Ruiz, Núria ; Pérez López, Marta ; Carreras, David ; Boada, Martí, ; Garcia i Orellana, Jordi ; Duch Cortinas, Jordi ; Rieradevall, Joan (2014)

Sostenipra 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 4756 MJ with associated emissions of 277 kg 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 29 MJ and 93 MJ 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.
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