Tourism received USD 64 billion worth of finance with biodiversity risk in 2019.

It is likely that many loans to tourism ventures with significant biodiversity impacts are provided by smaller, local banks and may therefore be underestimated here.

60% 40%
Total loans of all 50 banks:
USD 64 Billion
  • Top Ten Banks
  • Rest
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Ten banks with largest finance at risk in the tourism sector (2019, million USD)


Tourism includes airlines, hotels, motels and cruise lines, and restaurants and bars. These three sectors are nearly evenly split in their loan contributions.

Fast food restaurant chains, cruise lines, and hotel chains were among the individual companies that received the largest loans.

A significant percentage of loans have the potential for direct impacts on biodiversity, while the top ten lenders remain largely unchanged from previous sectors.

Forty-seven per cent of all loans identified as having biodiversity impact risk were linked to the top ten lenders.

Industry Scope

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and in 2019 it contributed about USD 9 trillion to the global economy and made up 10.3 per cent of global GDP.

Tourism has been described as the largest scale movement of goods, services, and people that humanity has ever seen. In 2019, international tourist arrivals reached 1.5 billion for the first time.

Top spenders in international tourism (2018, million USD

Top recipientS OF international tourism (2018, million USD

Total expenditure: 1,600,000

Biodiversity Impact

Tourism can have positive effects for biodiversity, for example by reducing the impact on endangered species who tend to be valued higher in more affluent societies.

However, it also negatively impacts biodiversity with its infrastructure requirements, use of cruise ships, and contribution to pollution, invasive species, climate change, and CO2 emissions.

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