Luigi Cabrini


The tourism industry is feeling the effects of climate change and how it is planning to play its part in tackling it. Tourism is a major part of the global economy: constituting 6% of global GDP and providing one in every twelve jobs worldwide. It is also a major carbon emitter, responsible for 5% of the global total. I am seriously concern about the effect of climate change on tourist resorts, facing a wide range of problems such as scarcity of water, increased frequency of hurricanes, faster beach erosion and the shortening of ski seasons. This also threatens tourism’s role as a poverty reduction tool. There are plenty of easy ways for emissions from tourism to be reduced: on average 6% of a hotel’s revenue is spent on energy and efficiency measures could easily reduce emissions. Younger tourists are demanding greener products, even willing to pay a higher price, which is doing a lot to change the priorities of the industry.

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Thought Leader, Sustainable Tourism Advocate & Economist

Luigi Cabrini, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and an Advisor to the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Cabrini holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Pisa and has completed postgraduate courses on international law, history and economics. From 1978 to 1982, he worked as an Editor in Rome. From 1982 to 2002, he was responsible of United Nations programmes for development and assistance and protection of refugees, including Representative’s positions in Guatemala, Mexico, Somalia, Pakistan, Poland and Spain. In 2002, he joined the UNWTO as Regional Representative for Europe and assumed his current post in 2007. Cabrini has been the Director of the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Programme from 2007 until 2013, focusing its activities on tourism and climate change, tourism and biodiversity, observatories for sustainable tourism, tourism in the green economy, tourism and heritage and global partnerships.

From 2002 to 2007, he was UNWTO Regional Representative for Europe and Secretary of the UNWTO General Assembly and Executive Council.Cabrini is the Director of the Sustainable Development of Tourism Programme, which contributes to one of the strategic goals of the World Tourism Organization in line with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and with special focus on the Millennium Development Goals. The Programme undertakes research, develops manuals and provides guidance and training to the Member States and other tourism stakeholders on sustainable tourism policies and their application to tourism destinations. Its specific areas of work include: green economy, climate change, biodiversity, poverty alleviation, cultural and natural heritage and their interrelations with tourism, as well as sustainable tourism indicators. Luigi Cabrini is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish and has basic knowledge of Russian and Polish.