Thematic Review #1: Monitoring Tourism Sustainability

The first thematic review of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community is now available! Learn more on the monitoring of tourism sustainability, on the knowledge gaps of policy-making processes and on how to bridge the data gaps on tourism.

 

One of the main issues regarding sustainability in the tourism sector is the lack of indicators and data on tourism activities. Finding ways to fill critical knowledge gaps is a key component of the implementation of more sustainable and respectful tourism alternatives in the Mediterranean region.

Identifying relevant indicators, developing effective data collection mechanisms and identifying the impacts of tourism in the region is key to the implementation of alternative, sustainable and responsible tourism models.

At the Mediterranean level, the main current knowledge/data gaps on tourism is a key issue for the Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism Community in order to feed decision-making processes and propose alternative tourism models in line with policy-makers’ expectations.

Some initiatives have been undertaken under the lead of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and other international organisations active in the tourism sector, to develop and make homogenous the tools and indicators aimed at measuring and monitoring tourism trends. Particularly, the MST - Measuring Sustainability Tourism initiative, currently under development to be submitted by 2020, aims at creating an indicator by involving different actors and stakeholders and taking into account various dimensions of tourism.

Specifically in the Mediterranean region, the activity realized by the territorial projects of the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, such as ShapeTourism and MitoMed+, constitute examples of practices that could be further developed at a broader level. Such projects are indeed providing concrete data to further support the work realised on a wider and regional scale by other actors, such as the INSTO members constitutive of the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO), covering five Mediterranean countries and conducting research and monitoring studies related to the tourism sector there.

Read the full thematic review here.