A member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) proposed at the annual political meeting that the tourism industry could contribute greatly in accelerating China's development towards a low carbon society.
By cutting 100-million carbon emissions, the tourism industry is saving carbon worth some three-billion dollars, Zhu Jianhao, the CPPCC member from Hong Kong, pointed out.
Zhu said the National Tourism Administration should establish a set of low carbon standards and assign several pilot scenic spots to operate by them.
The standards can include how much green energy the scenic spots are using and how much waste it disposes of every day. The same standards should apply to travel-related industries like hotels. Carbon emission should be one of the key factors in rating a restaurant or hotel.
Similar practices introduced by developed countries have been helping them in maintaining a balanced economic development, Zhu stated in his proposal, citing France as an example.
The administrators of tourist attractions are not the only ones that should be regulated, Zhu indicated. Travelers can support the campaign with eco-friendly travel.
"Traveling by train or bicycle are better ways to protect our planet, and you can always lower the hotel room air conditioner by one degree. Minor things can be tremendously rewarding when everyone is willing to cut their share of carbon emissions," Zhu said.