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.

Publications about vacations


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


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Årsrapport 2019 Periodical


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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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Funders and consortium