Prediction of the impact on air quality of the cities receiving cruise tourism: the case of the Port of Barcelona

Heliyon. 2019 Mar 14;5(3):e01280. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01280. eCollection 2019 Mar.


The cruise tourism industry has experienced significant growth in recent years and has a very positive outlook for the future. However, its environmental impact requires a review of its sustainability, including the analysis of its social, economic and environmental balance, and the evaluation of its impact on port cities receiving cruise ships. The purpose of this document is twofold: First, to analyze the relationship between air quality, as an environmental variable, and the volume of cruise ships and passengers that visit a port with the aim of generating information. Secondly, it is intended to develop an index, based on the information already available that allows cities to predict the impact of this activity, so that decisions are made to alleviate these effects. Methods: The primary data taken monthly for the period 2006-2017, related to the level of emissions and the number of cruises and passengers, are used as a basis. A regression analysis is performed to determine the relationship between air pollution and the number of tourists coming from the cruise ships. As a contribution, the results show the influence of this type of tourism on environmental indicators. In addition, in an original way, a regression function is established that allows estimating the future impact of the cruise industry in the ports cities. So that, cities can prevent this type of environmental impact. This will make it easier for the cruise tourism industry to develop more sustainable models in the long term.

Keywords: Environmental science.