Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST)

Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST)

With the support of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), UNWTO has launched the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST). The aim is to develop an international statistical framework for measuring tourism’s role in sustainable development, including economic, environmental and social dimensions.

By integrating tourism within economic, social and environmental measurement standards, the framework aims to provide a common language and organizing structure for exploiting the richness of data already available and for more effective data production, management and integration.

Such a standards-based framework can further support the credibility, comparability and outreach of various measurement and monitoring programmes pertaining to sustainable tourism, including the derivation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators and those of UNWTO’s International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO).

Overall, the statistical framework from the MST will provide an integrated information base to better inform on sustainable tourism, to facilitate dialogue between different sectors and to encourage integrated, locally relevant decision making.

6th UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism

On the occasion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the Government of the Philippines and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) organized the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics to be held in Manila from 21 to 24 June 2017 with the objective of addressing the issue of the Measurement of Sustainable Tourism.

1,500 participants from 88 countries, among which Ministers, Chief Statisticians, private sector and key decision makers from international organizations, gathered in Manila to discuss how to advance a rigorous, statistical approach to the measurement of sustainable tourism. To better measure is to better manage, and thus a common and robust set of data is critical for governments and stakeholders to design, implement and monitor effective sustainable tourism policies.

The event is part of the calendar of official events of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Measuring the Sustainability of TourismWorking Group on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism

Measuring sustainable tourism naturally cuts across a range of disciplines and agencies. In advancing the MST statistical framework, an open Working Group of experts has been established to lead the technical development and support engagement among these key stakeholders.

UNWTO is working together with UNSD and leading country experts, and under auspices of the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) and the UNWTO Committees on Statistics and Tourism Satellite Accounts and on Tourism and Sustainability. The Working Group also counts on the involvement of relevant international organizations.

  • Meetings:
  • Terms of Reference (Jul 2016)

Pilot studies and country experiences

Country pilot studies aim to bring together relevant stakeholders and contribute to the design and development of the statistical framework by testing its relevance and feasibility. See the complete list of pilot studies and country experiences.