UNWTO organises the first meeting of experts on measuring Sustainable Tourism

first_imgPolicy experts and statisticians specialised 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 recently at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid.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 organising structure for exploiting the richness of data already available and for identifying additional data that may be needed.“The Sustainable Development Goals and the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 constitute a unique opportunity to advance sustainable, inclusive and responsible tourism; developing a statistical framework to measure sustainable tourism is essential in fostering a common understanding for tracking our progress,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “Tourism stakeholders at large will benefit from having a statistical framework for sustainable tourism much like we all benefit from the TSA which provides the framework for tourism’s economic contribution.”More than 50 representatives from stakeholders like National Tourism Administrations, National Statistical Offices and Ministries of Environment from 13 countries, as well as sub-national administrations, the private sector, academia, civil society, tourism observatories (including UNWTO-INSTO members) and multilateral organisations, participated in the two-day working session.The meeting came at an important point in UNWTO’s initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) which is being developed since 2015 with the support of the UN Statistical Division and the engagement of Austria, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands and Cardiff University (Wales).In addition to exchanging views and experiences, the Working Group of Experts considered the eight discussion papers prepared for the meeting and the ongoing work of the five pilot studies in order to assess the feasibility and relevance of advancing towards a statistical framework to better inform and to advocate for sustainable tourism as well as to guide policy makers.last_img read more