Government AffairsGlobal stakeholders across Asia and the Pacific discussed the importance of measuring sustainability for tourism.

Sustainability remains an evergreen agenda for governments and industry players

Tourism stakeholders look at developing a statistical framework for measuring sustainability in tourism.
Tourism stakeholders look at developing a statistical framework for measuring sustainability in tourism. Photo Credit: gettyimages/TarikVision

Sustainable tourism is high on the agenda among government policymakers, statisticians and relevant stakeholders across Asia and the Pacific. 

Specifically, parties supported the implementation of a statistical framework “Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism” (MST) that would inform national policy and subnational tourism management. The framework is used for integrating statistics on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable tourism.

Using the framework would also ensure more aligned action and monitor progress across countries towards regional and global policy ambitions such as climate action and the Paris Agreement, circular economy, Sustainable Development Goals, the SAMOA Pathway, and the Convention on Biological Diversity, among others.

This was covered at a workshop on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.

Present were prominent speakers from governments, the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Auckland University and UNWTO. Guest speakers from Fiji, Jamaica, Netherlands, Thailand and the Philippines were also invited to share their perspectives.

Also covered during the session was a flexible implementation of MST based on different priorities and circumstances, strategies for improving data capturing and how to best utilise available data, a shared communication strategy, education on how to produce and use data, as well as developing an agreed roadmap.

In total, there were more than 80 participants from National Tourism Authorities and National Statistical Offices in Asia and the Pacific.

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