Data on the economic contribution of Tourism

Data on the economic contribution of Tourism

Economic contribution of Tourism and beyond

Indicators on the economic contribution of tourism, such as Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product, are to be derived in accordance with the Tourism Satellite Accounts: Recommended Framework (TSA:RMF, 2008) standard. Compilation according to such international standards ensures international comparability across countries and time.

In addition, UNWTO is working closely with countries and international organizations in the development of a statistical framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism. This framework aims to become an international standard to measure tourism more widely, including not only the economic, but also the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

As the custodian to the Sustainable Development Goals indicators 8.9.1 and 12.b.1, UNWTO has been collecting globally information on Tourism Direct GDP (indicator 8.9.1) and on the implementation of international standards for the measurement of the sustainability of tourism (indicator 12.b.1), such as Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). The data is available below.

Implementation of Relevant Standards for Measurement of Tourism

The internationally recognized statistical standard for measuring the economic contribution of tourism is the Tourism Satellite Accounts: Recommended Framework (TSA:RMF, 2008). In the past, the UNWTO has conducted studies on the implementation of this standard, the latest being available here.

As part of the data collection on SDG indicator 12.b.1 that UNWTO initiated in 2019, it is possible to monitor the implementation of TSA on a continuous annual basis. This indicator is defined as the number of core TSA Tables compiled at the national level during the year of reference. TSA tables 1 to 7 are considered core for the purpose of this indicator. Therefore, a value of 7 means that all core tables are compiled for the year of reference, while a value of 0 reflects the fact that none of these tables are compiled.

In addition, SDG indicator 12.b.1 covers the implementation of standards for measuring environmental aspects of tourism as well. In this context, UNWTO also collects information on the total number of relevant accounts from the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) being compiled for the referenced year. The SEEA accounts considered are Water flows, Energy flows, GHG emissions, and solid waste accounts, as these accounts are specifically mentioned in the MST statistical framework. In this context, a value of 4 indicates that all these SEEA accounts are compiled for the reference year.

The user can explore and download the data below:

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Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product (TDGDP)

Tourism Direct GDP is one of the most widely used indicators to measure the contribution of Tourism to the economy as a whole. It is also one of the main indicators that can be derived from the Tourism Satellite Accounts, especifically Table 6.

Since 2019, and as part of the efforts to monitor SDG indicator 8.9.1, UNWTO has been collecting information on TDGDP from countries on a yearly basis. Data on this indicator is presented below, as percentage of total GDP. To see the relevant metadata and time series, please hover over or click on a selected country on the map.

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Sustainable Development Goals

The UNWTO is custodian to two SDG indicators from the Global indicator framework. These two indicators are:

  • Indicator 8.9.1: Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product (Download metadata)
  • Indicator 12.b.1: Implementation of standard accounting tools to monitor the economic and environmental aspects of tourism sustainability (Download metadata)

In order to explore and download data related to these two indicators, please go to the sections on the “Implementation of relevant standards for the measurement of tourism” and “Tourism Direct Gross Domestic Product” above.

The data is collected by UNWTO from countries and reported on an annual basis to the United Nations Statistical Division, to be published in this website and to be included in the Global SDG Indicators Database. Data is periodically updated on an yearly basis. Metadata on these indicators can be found in the SDG indicators Metadata Repository.

Complementary indicators

The Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) statistical framework is supported  by the United Nations Statistical Commission, which recognizes it as the framework for the derivation of indicators on sustainable tourism as well as for measurement at the subnational level.  In the context of the MST, UNWTO is working closely with countries and international organizations in the development of a set of indicators that would allow to monitor the contribution of Tourism to the Sustainable Development Agenda.