Editorial: Hedonistic Sustainability – the way into a better future of tourism

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

In Copenhagen, much of the energy and heat needed to run and warm the city is produced right in the city center by a big power plant that generates electricity and waste heat by burning solid wastes. However, there is a difference: CopenHill, also known as Amager Bakke, is a 41,000 m² new breed of waste-to-energy plant topped with a ski slope, hiking trail and climbing wall, an urban recreation center, and environmental education hub, turning social infrastructure into an architectural landmark embodying the notion of hedonistic sustainability while aligning with Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.

Hedonistic sustainability is also the idea behind Meaningful Tourism, a new paradigm for global tourism development, which will be discussed on Thursday during the day-long conference on the future of China’s outbound tourism in the post-pandemic era.

The Chinese government officially announced last week that the policy of handing out passports and allowing Chinese citizens to leave the country only in very extreme situations has been in reality practiced already for some time. Any criticism of the zero-CoViD policy is forbidden, but protests seem to increase and provincials official of the Health Commission are quoted as urging the central government to change its policy. Whatever way it will be done, the spin doctors rather than the medical doctors will find a way out in the coming months for China to join the rest of the world (minus North Korea) in developing a policy of living with the virus, the same way the world is living with malaria, AIDS, etc.

The online conference on Thursday, organized by COTRI on behalf of GITF Guangzhou International Travel Fair and celebrating the Chinese National Tourism Day, will look at the post-pandemic development of tourism both globally and especially generated by the Chinese source market. If you have not registered yet, please do so. Even if you do not have time to participate at the sessions starting at 7 a.m. New York City time and 2 p.m. Berlin time and at 7 a.m. Berlin time and 2 p.m. Beijing time on May 19th, please register to make sure to get the link for the Youtube channel where the complete conference will be stored.   

With the war and lockdowns and the climate catastrophe, things are looking pretty gloomy at the moment, but there will be a peaceful European Song Contest in Kyiv, a restart of Chinese outbound tourism, and an A380 flying transatlantic fully fuelled by biofuel in 2023 – if not, I promise to buy a drink to every reader of COTRI Weekly I will meet in the coming year. 

Please register for the GITF China Outbound Tourism Conference on May 19th, it’s free of charge and full of insights:


As always, all best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the whole COTRI WEEKLY team!