Christophe Clivaz, a parliamentarian from the Green Party in Valais is demanding that subsidies given to Swiss Tourism not be used to promote tourism that involves flying, reported 20 Minutes.
Switzerland is busy developing sustainable tourism under the brand Swisstainable. However, when tourism booms aviation booms with it. So how can tourism be sustainable? asks Clivaz.
The federal parliament member has put forward a motion calling for the federal subsidies paid to Swiss Tourism, a body that promotes Switzerland as a tourist destination, to be excluded from spending on marketing to tourists such as the Chinese and Americans.
It is contradictory to promote sustainable tourism while encouraging distant tourists to visit by plane, argues Clivaz. A return flight between Beijing and Zurich emits 3 tonnes of CO2 and one between Los Angeles and Geneva 3.1 tonnes, he said. An average resident of Switzerland emits 5.8 tonnes a year, so one of these flights represents around half a year’s annual emissions for an average person living in Switzerland.
In response, Swiss Tourism argues that the same emissions would be created elsewhere. Tourists would chose a competing destination and fly there instead. It also points out that long-distance travellers stay longer, typically use public transport and travel all year round providing an even stream of tourism revenue, which supports the infrastructure that is enjoyed by other tourists.
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No sense in discouraging long distance tourists from Asia and America because of longer flights and carbon emissions. Switzerland needs tourism. Their business would go elsewhere!
If free train passes are offered to Ukrainian refugees, why not to all refugees? Some refugees have been in Switzerland far longer, e.g. Syrians and Afghans.