The UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker compiles all the relevant data in one place, giving governments and the private businesses the ability to track the recovery of tourism at global and regional level, alongside information on the top destinations for international tourism
UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker
As growing numbers of countries around the world ease restrictions on travel, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched a new Tourism Recovery Tracker to support global tourism. This represents the latest concrete action undertaken by the United Nations specialized agency as it leads the response of global tourism and guides recovery.
The most comprehensive tourism dashboard to date, the Tracker is the result of a partnership between international organizations and the private sector. Available for free, it covers key tourism performance indicators by month, regions and subregions allowing for a real time comparison of the sector recovery across the world and industries.
The tracker includes data on:
- international tourist arrivals
- seat capacity in international and domestic air routes,
- air travel bookings,
- hotel searches and bookings,
- occupancy rates and
- demand for short term rentals
- travel sentiment (Net Sentiment Score)
- COVID-19 14-day notification rate per 100,000 population
The UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker is available for free and is a collaborative effort by a group of partners including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), ForwardKeys, STR, Sojern, TCI Research and AIRDNA.
As defined by UNWTO, a Tourism Product is "a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as natural, cultural and man-made resources, attractions, facilities, services and activities around a specific center of interest which represents the core of the destination marketing mix and creates an overall visitor experience including emotional aspects for the potential customers. A tourism product is priced and sold through distribution channels and it has a life-cycle".
UNWTO understands Rural Tourism as "a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle / culture, angling and sightseeing.Rural tourism
Gastronomy and Wine Tourism
As global tourism is on the rise and competition between destinations increases, unique local and regional intangible cultural heritage become increasingly the discerning factor for the attraction of tourists.Gastronomy and Wine Tourism
Mountain Tourism is a type of "tourism activity which takes place in a defined and limited geographical space such as hills or mountains with distinctive characteristics and attributes that are inherent to a specific landscape, topography, climate, biodiversity (flora and fauna) and local community. It encompasses a broad range of outdoor leisure and sports activities".Mountain Tourism
According to UNWTO, Urban Tourism is "a type of tourism activity which takes place in an urban space with its inherent attributes characterized by non-agricultural based economy such as administration, manufacturing, trade and services and by being nodal points of transport. Urban/city destinations offer a broad and heterogeneous range of cultural, architectural, technological, social and natural experiences and products for leisure and business".Urban Tourism
Tourism and sports are interrelated and complementary. Sports – as a professional, amateur or leisure activity – involves a considerable amount of traveling to play and compete in different destinations and countries. Major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, football and rugby championships have become powerful tourism attractions in themselves – making a very positive contribution to the tourism image of the host destination.Sports Tourism
Shopping Tourism is becoming an increasingly relevant component of the tourism value chain. Shopping has converted into a determinant factor affecting destination choice, an important component of the overall travel experience and, in some cases the prime travel motivation.Shopping Tourism
The Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness Department works to provide knowledge and strategic guidance to support tourism destinations and the sector at large become more competitive and improve destination management through efficient policies and governance.
2018 marked the ninth consecutive year of sustained growth in international tourism. A total of 1.4 billion tourists travelled the world in 2018. Tourism generated US$1.7 trillion in worldwide exports in 2018.Market Intelligence
Policy and Destination Management
UNWTO works to provide guidance and share good practices on policies and governance models aimed to effectively support the tourism sector at the different levels: national, regional and local.Policy and Destination Management
As defined by UNWTO, a Tourism Product is "a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as natural, cultural and man-made resources, attractions, facilities, services and activities around a specific center of interest which represents the core of the destination marketing mix and creates an overall visitor experience including emotional aspects for the potential customers. A tourism product is priced and sold through distribution channels and it has a life-cycle".Product Development
UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard
The UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard – provides statistics and insights on key indicators for inbound and outbound tourism at the global, regional and national levels. Data covers tourist arrivals, tourism share of exports and contribution to GDP, source markets, seasonality and accommodation (data on number of rooms, guest and nights)
Two special modules present data on the impact of COVID 19 on tourism as well as a Policy Tracker on Measures to Support Tourism
The UNWTO/IATA Destination Tracker
The UNWTO/IATA Travel Tracker is the first global dashboard on Air Travel Restrictions and Health-related Travel Requirements at the destination.
The first one-stop-shop for global information on COVID-19 related travel regulations it aims to build confidence among travellers and business and support policy making by providing a global overview of travel restrictions worldwide.
Available for free, it provides information and insights on the current status regarding air travel restrictions and measures in place at destinations worldwide.
The tracker includes data on:
- Health Indicators
- COVID-19 14-day notification rate per 100,000 population
- Test positivity rate
- People Vaccinated per 100
- Current Air Travel Regulations
- Flight suspensions
- Entry restrictions
- Restriction level
- COVID-19 test
- Destination-specific Restrictions
- Food and Drinks
- Transit through the country
- Public transport
- Stay-at-home requirements
- Health Regulations
- Health Protocols
- Mask policies
The UNWTO/IATA Travel Tracker is a collaborative initiative of both organisations using data provided by both parties, as well as other public sources such as Our World in Data and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker.
IATA is an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization.
The UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard – provides statistics and insights on key indicators for inbound and outbound tourism at the global, regional and national levels. Data covers tourist arrivals, tourism share of exports and contribution to GDP, source markets, seasonality, and accommodation (data on number of rooms, guest, and nights). It also features a Tourism Recovery Tracker and a Policy tracker as part of UNWTO´s COVID-19 response.UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer monitors short-term tourism trends on a regular basis to provide global tourism stakeholders with up-to-date analysis on international tourism.UNWTO World Tourism Barometer
Market Intelligence Reports
UNWTO publishes a number of market intelligence reports every year, covering trends analysis, products, segments and markets. Information on the contents of these publications is provided here.Publications on Tourism Market Intelligence
Market Intelligence - Webinars
Market Intelligence - Webinars
Tourism and Rural Development
UNWTO has designated 2020 as the Year of Tourism and Rural Development. This Year is an opportunity to promote the potential of tourism to create jobs and opportunities. It can also advance inclusion and highlight the unique role tourism can play in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage and curbing urban migration.
The theme is shared with this year’s World Tourism Day. World Tourism Day, commemorated each year on 27 September, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first World Tourism Day.
‘Tourism and Rural Development’ is more relevant than ever as the global tourism sector faces up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism in rural areas offers important opportunities for recovery, making supporting rural communities facing the economic and social impacts of the pandemic is critical.
A renewed focus on the benefits of tourism to rural communities is timely and important:
Around the world, rural communities with significant tourism activity have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobs have been lost and small businesses placed at risk as restrictions on travel brought tourism to a standstill.
Rural areas face increasing challenges of aging populations, declines in traditional economic activities and depopulation.
Tourism has been one of the fastest-growing and most resilient socio-economic sectors of our times.
In many places, the benefits of tourism, including enhanced employment opportunities and economic growth, are concentrated in urban areas, particularly cities.
New technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship, a growing interest among travellers demanding experiences connected to the places they are visiting, as well as easier connectivity, open new windows of opportunity for tourism in rural areas.
Harnessing the power of tourism to drive rural development will enhance the sector’s contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goals 1 (no poverty), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), and 17 (partnerships for the goals).
The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to build back better for the tourism sector investing in models that place a focus on the empowerment and engagement of local communities, inclusion, and the preservation of local natural and cultural resources.
This crisis further stresses the importance of building resilience among communities where tourism is an important share of their income through product and market diversification, fighting seasonality, social protection and building added value experiences.
The Case for Rural Development
Urbanization is a prevalent trend across the world. By 2050, 68% of world population will live in urban areas, while 80% of all people living in ‘extreme poverty’ live in rural communities, not cities.
Globally, most of the 1.8 billion young people in the world live in rural areas of low and middle-income countries. “It tends to be the better-educated, the more highly skilled, the more highly motivated mobile people who are leaving and that is certainly a drain of the human capital.”
Youth in rural communities are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Without work, young people are forced to migrate to cities, either in their own countries or across borders. Youth migration to the cities harms rural communities, often irreversibly. As well as towns and villages dying out, local customs and heritage become lost.
Tourism, Rural Development and COVID-19: Facing up to an unprecedented challenge
Communities in rural areas are, in general, much less prepared to deal with the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 crisis. This is due to a variety of factors, including population age, lower income levels, relative lack of economic diversity, the ‘digital divide’, and distance from health centres.
Tourism is a lifeline for many rural communities, most notably in the developing world. According to UNWTO scenarios on the impact of COVID-19, international tourist arrivals could fall between 60% and 80% in 2020. This will have a massive impact on livelihoods and businesses.
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer: International tourism down 22% in Q1 and could decline by 60-80% over the whole year
UNWTO foresees that domestic tourism will return before international tourism. Managed well, this could benefit rural communities, most notably through protecting livelihoods and boosting local economies.
To help both governments and the private sector mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and to drive the sector’s recovery, UNWTO has made available Recommendations for Action and Guidelines to Restart Tourism. This action plan for a sustainable and resilient future emphasises the importance of tourism to rural communities, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
Tourism driving rural development: Opportunities and challenges
UNWTO is committed to guiding the tourism sector as a driver of sustainable economic and social inclusion and ensuring that tourism can contribute to ‘leaving no one behind’.
Tourism has a unique ability to support the revitalization of rural communities, both in the short-term as they recover from the impact of COVID-19, and in the long-term to promote sustainable and inclusive growth:
- In many areas, economic returns from agriculture are diminishing. At the same time, traditional ways of life are under threat from climate change. Travellers’ demand for new experiences around nature, local culture and products, as well as community engagement, offer immense opportunities for economic revitalization.
- Yet creating new opportunities for jobs and economic activities in rural areas requires proper connectivity, investment, supporting the promotion and preservation of natural and cultural heritage, fostering digital transformation, developing adequate skills and products as well as strong public-public cooperation.
- The creation of value through tourism needs to be approached from an holistic perspective that engages all other sectors and activities in the tourism value chain
- National policies and programmes such as the ‘Magical Towns’ of Mexico are a good example of how rural communities can benefit from tourism.
- Promoting tourism in rural areas spreads the benefits of the sector but also helps reduce pressure on more visited locations in cities.
Infrastructure and education – the role of the public sector
The public sector has an important role to play in boosting tourism’s contribution to rural development. At the local level, it is hard to attract private sector investors and retain population if there has been no public sector investment.
The public sector also has a role to play in ensuring the hard infrastructure is in place to provide well being for communities and allow tourists to easily visit and experience rural areas. Education is also key. Without the “human capital”, rural development will be impossible.
Creating ‘More and Better Jobs’ in rural communities Infrastructure and education
Tourism can create jobs in rural and remote areas, not only directly but also indirectly through the preservation and restoration of traditional activities. Often it is one of the few viable economic sectors in these areas. The sector is particularly effective at providing employment opportunities for women and young people.
Tourism is particularly effective at providing employment opportunities for women and young people
However, the tourism sector has a responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t just provide work, but also offers decent and fair jobs. This is particularly relevant in rural communities where employment may be less formal and more flexible. Temporary and part-time jobs are particularly common among women, young people, and the less-skilled who are employed in tourism. They can often lead to decent work deficits, including inadequate social security coverage, low wages and income inequality, and poor working conditions.
New opportunities – technology & innovation
Tourists will expect to have access to the same technology in rural areas as they enjoy in urban destinations. This includes access to fast, reliable wireless internet and the ability to make cashless payments. Access to technology is also critical to provide local business access to the market place and promote the inclusion of providers of all sizes in the tourism value chain. Ensuring rural destinations enjoy the same technology as urban areas and are not ‘left behind’ is a challenge for the public and private sectors to address.
Innovation and entrepreneurship can help drive rural development, by accelerating the access of local providers to global markets, creating new experiences and fostering networks. Attracting talent and innovation to promote rural areas will be central. The use of big data to better understand consumers will also help craft marketable experiences, monitor impact and promote rural areas.
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the digital transformation of economies. The rise in remote working, including in tourism-related jobs, as well as distance learning, can help create more opportunities for rural communities around the world.
Skills development, access to finance, infrastructure development, digital transformation, economic diversification, new governance and impact assessment, should be placed at the heart of the recovery plans for tourism in rural communities in order support them navigate through the crisis and emerge stronger.