Experts to develop standard for measuring sustainability of tourism
Channelled towards producing more credible and comparable data on the role of tourism for people, planet and prosperity, one hundred experts from around the world recently gathered at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Headquarters to develop the next standard for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST).
The expert group including ministries, statistical institutes, subnational authorities, academia and private sector – adopted an ambitious roadmap to step up efforts towards the finalisation of the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, and its endorsement as the new measurement standard for the sector. Record participation, with representatives from 28 countries including six non UNWTO Member States, shows that MST is more crucial than ever.
The data framework will empower policymakers and the private sector to shape innovative policies and transform business models. Governments, businesses and consumers require transparent and reliable metrics to be produced in a harmonised way to benchmark performance, communicate progress, streamline policy, and ensure that action on the ground is aligned with broader policy ambitions.
Launched in 2016 by UNWTO in partnership with leading countries, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Statistics Division, MST embodies tourism’s response to move beyond GDP.
According to the MST pilots, a symposium on country experiences, held back-to-back with the expert group meeting, showcased pioneering work by countries and subnational destinations. On this occasion, UNWTO also launched the publication, Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism: Lessons from Pilots.
MST pilots demonstrate that it is possible to measure in a comparable way, the difference of elements that comprise tourism’s sustainability from environmental, to social to economic aspects with a single integrated framework.
Also, in collaboration with the Oxford University SDG Impact Lab, and under the umbrella of MST, UNWTO launched the development of a framework for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting for tourism businesses.