Blue Mountains Low Carbon Tourism

Building Sustainable Communities

The 'Low Carbon Tourism: Building Sustainable Communities Initiative' is an economic and behavioural change program being trialed in the Blue Mountains region of NSW.  It is based around the premise that the Blue Mountains community live and work within a highly sensitive World Heritage region. The communities' long term financial, social, and ecological sustainability rely upon maintaining a healthy low carbon environment to support and promote a ‘clean green image’. This will assist in building economic resilience, and an enhanced sustainable hospitality and tourism sector in particular, as the major economic driver of the region.


Tourism in the Blue Mountains is big business with annual visitation of 3,430,000, of which 21% is international. The sector contributes nearly $500 million p.a. to this regional economy, and creates more than 5,000 jobs.  International visitors to the Blue Mountains are increasing (by 44.6% in the last 5 years). A majority are coming from Europe (48.6%) and a fifth from Asian countries (20.8%). 


Worldwide, tourism accounts for 5% of greenhouse gas emissions and makes up 5.6% of Australia’s GHG emissions. The key to decreasing a destination’s carbon footprint is to carefully plan its carbon reduction program. Transportation, accommodation, and facilities should focus on mitigating their emissions while they adapt to changing climate conditions.