Join the Network

Want to join the group of committed destinations in order to advance the measurement of sustainable tourism?

Here is how it works…



  • General Information about the applicant
  • KML file indicating the monitoring area
  • Overview of relevant stakeholders
  • Statement of the Statutes of UN Tourism
  • Commitment to the principles of the UN Tourism Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

  • Generic background on the destination
  • Information on tourism flows
  • Core economic data
  • Information on the structural framework

  • Situation Analysis: destination level
  • Key sustainability issues
  • Current monitoring activities and structures
  • Data needs, availability, gaps, sources
  • Objectives – short, medium- and long-term
  • Proposed structure
  • Details on relevant stakeholders
  • Completion of basic economic data sheet


Please contact [email protected] for guidance on the Preliminary Study

  • From relevant institutions
  • National/regional/local tourism authority
  • Responsible governing body

Download the application documents

Who can apply?

In principle, any destination that is committed or aspires to commit to long-term monitoring can apply to become a member of INSTO. Applicants are recommended to ensure that within the interested destination, basic tourism data is available that can be used as starting point. While at the moment of application, the observatory does not need to be fully established, clear plans to do so and stakeholder commitment need to exist. No matter how the observatory is established and in which structures it is integrated (e.g. as public-private-partnership, within universities, as individual institution, within governmental entities etc.), the official representative of the observatory has to submit the application package to UN Tourism.

Adaptation Period

Accepted observatories, newly established and previously existing ones, have a three year transitional period to comply with the INSTO Framework. In the first year, new members are expected to report on as many of the nine core issue areas as possible.


Continuous compliance with the rules as outlined in the INSTO Framework is expected from all members. Responsible for following the rules and the regular and transparent communication with UN Tourism is the legal representative of the observatory or – in case there are more than 5 observatories within the region – the appointed regional coordinator (RC).


There are no financial implications for destinations for becoming a member of INSTO. The application process and the membership are entirely free. However, initiators of the observatories should be aware of the required costs that arise when establishing and maintaining an observatory over the years. Depending on the structure of the observatory (which each destination has to formulate individually), costs usually occur for elements such as staff, research, outreach, stakeholder engagement etc. As with any project, financial requirements based on the organizational structure and the vision for the observatory should be carefully considered when establishing the initiative. Generally, it is advised to start efforts on a small-scale but with high-quality, augmenting the scale and scope of the monitoring activities over time.

More Frequently Asked Questions