Video: Data for Sustainable Tourism

Discover the video on data for sustainable tourism, compiling interviews realized during the MED Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019.

(Rome, 21 November 2019) “When we think of developing tourism in a sustainable way, because there is no other way of developing tourism, it is a blank page. We say: So what now? What do we do? How do you know, how do you start drawing from blank page to something? You need data! Otherwise you are going fully blind” declares Nagore Espinosa, from inTOUR destinations during interviews realized by UNIMED during the MED Sustainable Tourism Convention 2019, which took place on 5-7 June 2019 in Barcelona.

The aim of these interviews is to compile thoughts from various levels, public to private, academics to professionals, governmental and non governmental entities regarding the use of data to make tourism sustainable. It highlights the difficulties and the challenges faced by the different entities and actors of the tourism sector when it comes to sustainability. For example, Xavier Font from the University of Surrey, draws to the fact that “the public sector finds it very difficult to get valuable data to take quick decisions”, the data at their disposal is not only limited but also “not comprehensive enough to represent the whole society”.  However, as noted by Alicia Gomez, from the Agencia de Turismo de la Comunidad Autónoma Valenciana, the governments have the power to transform “marketing destinations in management destinations”, and this is where the difference can be made to make destinations more sustainable.

“The local government is actually the one having the responsibility to make balance between tourists and visitors, between the experience of visitors and the quality of life of our population” remarks Jelka Tepsic, Deputy Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik. However, ensuring such balance and sustainability in tourist destinations requires data and the key factor, according to Luigi Cabrini, President of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), is to find the right number of them: “if they are too few they are useless, if they are too many nobody can fill them up”. He gives the example of the GSTC, which has 41 criteria and 103 indicators and provide tourist destinations leaders with a graph with red, green and yellow bars depending on whether the criteria are not met, partially met or fulfilled.

These interviews provide for valuable insights on what is needed and what could be done in terms of data in order to realize a more sustainable tourism, something that complete fully the work of the different modular projects of the Sustainable Tourism Community.

The video is available here.

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