The Impact of Tourism on Energy Consumption: A Sectoral Analysis for the Most Visited Countries in the World

Autores: Pablo-Romero, M.P.; Sánchez-Braza, A.; García-Soto, M.A.

Datos de publicación: Economies, 2023, vol.11 (10), pp. 263.


Tourist activity has strategic importance in the global economy. Nevertheless, the tourism activities are linked to increased emissions, due to the sector’s energy intensity, especially in the transport and commercial sectors. The aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between final energy consumption in the whole economy, the transport, commercial and public services sectors, and the tourist activity in the 15 countries with the highest number of international tourist arrivals in the world, in 2000–2019 period. The Energy–Environment Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis extended with tourism has been tested. Obtained results show non-linear relationships between energy consumption and production levels. There is evidence in favor of the energy EKC hypothesis, and in favor of an inverted N-shaped relationship for transport and commercial and public services sectors. The results also show a positive, increasing relationship between energy consumption and tourist arrivals for the whole economy. However, there is some evidence of the tourism energy EKC hypothesis when considering the transport, commercial and public services sectors. Therefore, economies of scale are observed in these sectors. Accordingly, it is highly advisable to increase the economies of scale, coupled with a greater awareness on the use of renewable energy. Negative relationships are found between energy consumption and tourism receipts. Therefore, it is advisable to establish policies that encourage high quality tourism to control the economy’s energy consumption.


  • Energy consumption
  • Tourism
  • Transport
  • Tourism arrivals and receipts
  • Environmental Kuznets Curve
  • Panel data

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