Topic 1 Introduction to water management in tourism

Water consumption is significant in the touristic sector, as it is used to cover drinking cooking and hygiene needs. Hotels also consume large amount of water to clean towels and linens. Additional to that a considerable amount of water is used for recreational and sport activities; water parks, spa, swimming pools, etc.. On the other hand, the goods produced to be used in the tourism sector are indirectly increasing the water consumption throughout the supply chain. For that it is the responsibility of the hotels to efficiently manage water resources to achieve sustainable goals and operate responsibly.

The sum of both types of consumption means that a tourist’s water consumption, in per capita terms, is much higher than that of a resident’s consumption. It can, in fact, be double or triple in developed countries or up to fifteen times higher in developing countries.

As water shortage is a problem that is identified all around the globe, the tourism industry is requested to contribute positively through effective water management practices:

  • Tourism takes place in all regions of the world albeit to varying degrees, and is now the largest and fastest growing industry in the world;
  • Tourism causes water use to shift from water-rich countries (such as Canada) to water-poor areas (such as Mexico) on a large scale, placing significant pressure on already water-deprived areas;
  • Water availability is no longer guaranteed.