The water footprint of tourism in Spain

I. Cazcarro, Arjen Ysbert Hoekstra, J. Sánchez Chóliz

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This study complements the water footprint (WF) estimations for Spain, incorporating insights of the process analysis and input–output (IO) analysis. We evaluate the virtual (both blue and green consumed) water trade of agricultural and industrial products, but also of services, especially through tourism, for a country in which more than 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) derives from this activity. We use domestic and import disaggregated tables in the agro-alimentary activities, based mainly on national agrarian, industrial, services and trade statistics. In order to obtain import coefficients, water data and IO tables of the main trade partners are used to reproduce the technology of these economies. Results show that 16% of the Spanish exports are due to foreign tourism, thus the water footprint of foreign tourism in Spain is 3.7 km3. Finally, we compare reductions in total tourism expenditure and the domestic and global water footprint of tourism using four scenarios.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)90-101
JournalTourism management
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-87009
  • METIS-296707

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