That tourism uses a lot of water is hardly news, writes our editor Jeremy Smith in his blog for WTM London Daily fresh towels. Infinity swimming pools. Golf courses surrounded by desert. The endless irrigation of hotel grounds to keep them looking pristine. The list goes on, and that’s without including the embodied or virtual water that it takes to produce most of the products we consume, and generally consume more voraciously on holiday. There’s no better time to ask to what lengths the tourism industry can go to make a more positive contribution to the sustainable use of water. After all, there’s only so far that fitting low flow shower heads and encouraging people to use their towels for longer can take us.
- Starwood says that more than half of Starwood’s current and future properties are in areas facing critical water issues.
- A 2012 report on global water security from the United States Director of National Intelligence stated that demand for water would lead to an increased risk of conflict in the future. What if half the hotels in the world are soon to be in places at risk of conflict over access to water?