Background to (un)sustainable holidays

Since the start of mass tourism in the 1960s, the number of tourists in the world has increased sharply. From being an activity for the rich, holidays today are taken for granted by many in the growing middle class around the world. The growth of tourism has brought economic development and positive social and cultural exchanges, but at the same time tourism contributes to many sustainability problems from an ecological, economic and social perspective. These include, for example, the release of contaminated water, rubbish, the exploitation of attractive landscapes, a reduction in the number of local residents, deforestation from exploitation, over-exploitation of fresh water resources, prostitution, displacement of local populations and greenhouse gas emissions. The greenhouse gas emissions from tourism are a serious problem. Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the long-distance flights that are a central part of today’s tourism.

Do you want to be a more sustainable traveler? Researchers at Mistra Sustainable Consumption have developed an online tool that lets you calculate your trip’s carbon footprint. Learn more at

Emissions from aviation are increasing and the Swedish population’s flying causes as much climate impact as all car traffic in Sweden. About a fifth of these are business trips, while about four-fifths are private travel, mainly in the form of holiday travel.


Latest news about travelling

Publications about vacations


Lehner, Matthias; Richter, Jessika Luth; Mont, Oksana

Digitalization: A Potential Tool for Sustainable Consumption? Book Chapter

In: pp. 189–204, 2023, ISBN: 978-3-031-33246-3.

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Morfeldt, Johannes; Curtale, Riccardo; Kamb, Anneli; Larsson, Jörgen; Nässén, Jonas

Carbon footprint effects of shifting from flights to night trains for Swedish tourism Journal Article

In: Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 420, 2023.

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Happonen, Maija; Rasmusson, Lisa; Elofsson, Anna; Kamb, Anneli

Aviation’s climate impact allocated to inbound tourism: decision-making insights for “climate-ambitious” destinations Journal Article

In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2022.

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Roos, John Magnus

Semester under pandemin - Beteendeförändring och upplevelser hos svenska folket under den första covid-19 sommaren 2020. Technical Report

2022, ISSN: 2003-2188.

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Nässén, Jonas; Andersson, David; Benders, René; Berglund, Mårten; Brown, Nils; Carlsson Kanyama, Annika; Eggestrand, Hanna; Hart, Robert; Palm, Viveka; Patterson, Emma; Schäfer Elinder, Liselotte; Svenfelt, Åsa

Potentials and consequences of altered consumption practices Technical Report

2022, ISBN: 978-91-8040-178-4.

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Svenfelt, Åsa; Engström, Eskil; Vaughan, Hanna Eggestrand; Gerdin, Emma

62 sätt att möjliggöra hållbar konsumtion Technical Report

2022, ISBN: 978-91-8040-202-6.

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Årsrapport 2021 Periodical


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Larsson, Jörgen; Morfeldt, Johannes; Johansson, Daniel; Rootzén, Johan; Hult, Cecilia; Åkerman, Jonas; Hedenus, Fredrik; Sprei, Frances; Nässén, Jonas

Consumption-based Scenarios for Sweden - a basis for discussing new climate targets Technical Report

2022, ISBN: 978-91-88041-40-1.

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Ekvall, Andreas; Larsson, Jörgen; Nässén, Jonas

Klimatsmart semestrande - Tekniska lösningar, förändrat beteende och politiska styrmedel Technical Report

2022, ISBN: 978-91-88041-44-9.

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Åkerman, Jonas; Kamb, Anneli; Matti, Simon; Larsson, Jörgen; Nilsson, Magnus; Nässén, Jonas

Långväga resande i linje med klimatmålen Technical Report


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Larsson, Jörgen; Morfeldt, Johannes; Johansson, Daniel; Rootzén, Johan; Hult, Cecilia; Åkerman, Jonas; Hedenus, Fredrik; Sprei, Frances; Nässén, Jonas

Konsumtionsbaserade scenarier för Sverige - underlag för diskussioner om nya klimatmål Technical Report

2021, ISBN: 978-91-88041-36-4.

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Carlsson-Kanyama, Annika; Nässén, Jonas; Benders, Reneé

Shifting expenditure on food, holidays, and furnishings could lower greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40% Journal Article

In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2021.

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Årsrapport 2020 Periodical

2021, visited: 03.05.2021.

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Årsrapport 2019 Periodical

2020, visited: 30.03.2020.

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Kamb, Anneli; Lundberg, Erik; Larsson, Jörgen; Nässén, Jonas

FLYGRESORNA OCH KLIMATET - Utsläppsminskningar och acceptans för klimatsmartare alternativ Technical Report


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Carlsson-Kanyama, Annika; Baraka, Noha; Benders, Reneé; Berglund, Mårten; Dunér, Fredrik; Kok, Rixt; Losada, Raul Lopez I

Analysis of the environmental impacts of 218 consumption items. Greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use per SEK and kg. Technical Report


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Thorson, Maria; Larsson, Jörgen; Nässén, Jonas; Bradley, Karin; Kamb, Anneli; Svenfelt, Åsa

Att semestra hållbart? En kartläggning av vad hållbart semestrande kan innebära Technical Report

2019, ISBN: 978-91-7873-131-2.

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Larsson, Jörgen; Kamb, Anneli

Semestern och klimatet Metodrapport. Version 1.0 Technical Report


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