The Icarus Foundation seeks to foster an understanding within the industry of the need to address climate change and its negative impacts on the development of sustainable tourism. We aim to do this through the following:
Education and Consulting
To provide input into both destination and corporate strategies, policies and programs and to develop tools and manuals for tourism businesses to increase socio-economic sustainability and that result in the reduction of carbon emissions associated with tourism.
Research and Action Projects
To develop innovative projects within and for the tourism sector that encourage visitors and tourism supplier to reduce their carbon footprint.
Communication and Advocacy
To advocate the importance of climate change and sustainability to the future viability of Canadian tourism through public speaking, blogs, articles, seminars and conferences.
The Icarus Challenge
The Icarus Foundation challenges Canada's tourism community to get to grips with the issue of climate change and play its part in reducing the carbon footprint associated with tourism.
This paper, "The Climate Change Challenge, Implications for the Tourism Industry" summarizes the causes and effects of global warming and asserts that failure to address the multiple risks associated with climate change will undermine Canada's competitive position. Furthermore, failure to grasp how the indirect effects of climate change (i.e. rising energy costs, changing consumer demand, ecosystem degradation, security issues, regulations etc.) might also impede tourism's growth and progress.
While Canada's tourism community has been slow to respond to this issue, it is not too late to take a leadership position. Bold vision and multiple actions concurrently executed are needed at all levels - national, provincial, community and enterprise.