These practices, which focus on inclusivity and evidence-based decision-making are leading to a positive shift toward tourism development that is both resilient and inclusive
Members of the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) have met to exchange views on the importance of governance, participatory approaches and timely data to promote destination sustainability.
Members of the World Tourism Organization's INSTO, composed of leading destinations, are at the forefront of efforts to design and implement sustainable development practices at the ground level. These practices, which focus on inclusivity and evidence-based decision-making are leading to a positive shift toward tourism development that is both resilient and inclusive.
The meeting showcased the efforts deployed by the Observatories in various areas of measurement, such as satisfaction levels at the local level, the absorptive capacity of a destination, and the environmental and social aspects of tourism. INSTO members highlighted the challenges they face in their monitoring work, stressing the importance of reliable data obtained through partnerships with various providers. They also highlighted the selection of relevant indicators tailored to the specific needs of each destination, facilitating comparisons between destinations.
INSTO destinations stressed the importance of evidence-based policy measures that support the ongoing transformation of the tourism sector. Discussions focused on real-world examples and experiences from leading destinations, as well as progress made in the Measuring Sustainable Tourism and One Planet initiatives, and efforts related to biodiversity-oriented climate action.
Welcoming new members
The INSTO network continues to expand, welcoming four new Observatories during this week's meeting: Gifi Prefecture in Japan, Cali in Valle de Cauca in Colombia, Central Portugal and the Atlantic Coast of Ireland. These destinations have demonstrated their efforts to promote sustainable tourism through participatory approaches, evidence generation and transparency - essential requirements for INSTO members. In addition, INSTO has three new members as of early 2023: Yucatan and Tlaxcala in Mexico, and the Batanes Islands Monitoring Center in the Philippines, bringing INSTO's membership to 42 at present.
All INSTO members are committed to assessing the impact of tourism in eleven mandatory areas, covering economic, environmental and socio-economic dimensions. This commitment is in line with the "Measuring Sustainable Tourism" framework being developed by UNWTO, which goes beyond broad indicators such as GDP.