The impact of a carbon tax on international tourism

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A simulation model of international tourist flows is used to estimate the impact of a carbon tax on aviation fuel. The effect of the tax on travel behaviour is small: A global tax of $1000/t C would change travel behaviour and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation by 0.8%. A carbon tax on aviation fuel would particularly affect long-haul flights, because of high emissions, and short-haul flights, because of the emission during take-off and landing. Medium distance flights would be affected least. This implies that tourist destinations that rely heavily on short-haul flights or on intercontinental flights will see a decline in international tourism numbers, while other destinations may see international arrivals rise. If the tax is only applied to the European Union, tourists would stay closer to home and European tourism would grow at the expense of other destinations. Sensitivity analyses reveal that the qualitative insights are robust. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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