UNWTO Working Group of Experts on Measuring Sustainable Tourism
Policy experts and statisticians specialized in sustainable development, environment and tourism gathered to agree on the way forward in developing a statistical framework for sustainable tourism. The meeting was held at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid last 20-21 October.
The first meeting of the Working Group of Experts on Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) agreed that developing a statistical framework for sustainable tourism is a priority to support integrated policy responses at national and destination level, and urged UNWTO to lead this effort.
The Group agreed that the core rationale for developing a statistical framework is to support the measurement of sustainable tourism in its various dimensions (economic, environmental and social) and at the relevant spatial levels (global, national, sub-national) by providing a common language and organizing structure for exploiting the richness of data already available and for identifying additional data that may be needed.
The Working Group emphasized that beyond being a technical exercise, developing and subsequently implementing a statistical framework for sustainable tourism is very much a strategic endeavor requiring stakeholder engagement, inter-institutional coordination and political leadership. These key issues need to be addressed in recognition of the multifaceted natures of tourism, environment and sustainable development.