There is general consensus that climate policy has a key role to play in the transformation of tourism towards sustainability, not least because technological innovation and behavioural change will demand strong regulatory environments (e.g. Chapman 2007; Hickman and Banister 2007; Bows et al. 2009a, b; Barr et al. 2010; Gössling et al. 2010; Peeters and Dubois 2010b; see also Giddens 2009). For instance, in a recent modelling exercise to identify prerequisites for a transition to a sustainable surface-based mobility system, Köhler et al. (2009: 2994) concluded that:
Tourism is largely a private sector activity, but it has close relationships with the public sector at supranational central, regional and local government levels (Hall and Jenkins 1995). Governments are involved in regulating the industry, stimulating tourism development – for instance in foreign aid or through national marketing campaigns – and in creating infrastructure such as airports, roads or railways. On the other hand, governments are responsible for ensuring that emissions reductions within the Kyoto Protocol are achieved, which in some cases might mean that new infrastructure projects should not be carried out because they would mean interference with national climate politics. This could, in reality, often be difficult, as exemplified by the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport in the UK or Förbifart Stockholm, a national highway project in Sweden, which both caused major public and political debates in their respective countries in 2009/2010.