Abstract: The ecological footprint of tourism is imperative to assess for United Nation’s environmental sustainable agenda that is provoked for healthy visitation of tourists without damaging natural environment. This would ultimately reap economic and environmental benefits to sustained international tourism. This study examined the relationship between international tourism indicators, air pollutants, and ecological biodiversity underlying the premises of environmental Kuznets curve in the panel of 35 tourists-induced countries for the period of 1995–2016. The study used panel fixed effect and panel two-stage least square regression technique for robust inferences. The results confirmed the following key points, i.e., (1) the U-shaped relationship found between inbound tourists and mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx), where inbound tourists initially do not emanate the NOx emissions, while at the later stages, the level of NOx emissions substantially raises the required strong policy intervention to reduce emissions and provide tourists safe and healthy destinations, (2) inbound tourists linked with the biodiversity loss, and it increases carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a panel of countries, (3) trade openness affects ecological footprint and potential habitat area, while it decreases NOx and SO2 emissions, (4) international tourists’ departure exercised the ‘rebound effect’ on the ecosystem and air pollutants across countries, (5) there is a monotonic increasing relationship between outbound tourists and ecological footprint, while there is a flat/no relationship between outbound tourists, NOx, CO2, SO2, and GHG emissions, and (6) the food management practices supported the ecological diversity, and it reduces the carbon ‘foodprint,’ while it substantially increases SO2 emissions in outbound tourists’ model. The study emphasized the need for sustainable tourism infrastructure that conserves our natural environment and reduces climatic variability across the globe. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding Funding was provided by Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University (Grant No. RG-1439-015).
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