Water scarcity could severely limit the growth of the booming Asia-Pacific tourism industry, a new analysis shows. Currently water is used abundantly in hotel guest rooms, swimming pools, kitchens and restaurants, and in cooling towers for air conditioning. To continue its rapid growth, the hospitality industry in the Asia-Pacific region must adopt a leadership role in sustainable water management. To help the hospitality industry improve its water practices, the EarthCheck Research Institute today issued the White Paper on Tourism and Water, a region-specific report detailing the implications of water quality, availability and cost for the Asia-Pacific tourism industry. Developed by experts from Ecolab, EC3 Global, EarthCheck and Griffith University, the white paper also provides a global context for water stress and stewardship. The lack of access to clean drinking water is already a critical issue for many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The region, already the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination, is expected to increase its population by 500 million within the next decade, increasing water stress and scarcity. “Forward-looking hospitality businesses are working to address water consumption and minimize impacts to local communities,” said Dr. Raj Rajan, vice president of Research, Development and Engineering for Ecolab, and a prominent contributor to the white paper. “The white paper encourages hospitality businesses in the Asia-Pacific region to take a holistic systems approach to identifying and implementing water efficiency and conservation measures.” The white paper offers strategies for examining operations and provides tactics for reducing consumption and inefficiencies in key areas of water use, such as optimizing laundry wash formulas and rinse cycles to reduce overall water consumption. In addition, benchmarks put forward in the white paper, including an average comparison of global water usage per guest night, and opportunities to reduce water use, can help organizations assess their progress. “We took an active role in the development of the white paper because we have extensive experience helping our hospitality customers around the world conserve water and improve the sustainability of their operations,” said Rajan.