Pilot studies and country experiences

MST Pilot studies

Pilot studies

The MST pilots provide concrete data for use by destination managers and policymakers to shape innovative policies, transform business models and promote better tourism governance. They also contribute to the development of the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, which aims to become the leading global statistical standard for the sector.


One of the main means of advancing the implementation of the framework is through pilot projects in countries or destinations. These are key to testing the framework for MST on the ground. They will help produce specific policy-related questions from authorities, while also allowing them to provide feedback on the framework with critical information for its improvement.

The publication Experiences from Pilot Studies in Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism - A Synopsis for Policy Makers presents the work conducted by some countries, with a focus on the results obtained and the policy implications of the studies. These initiatives respond to specific relevant questions from the policy perspective. In many cases, they were developed through collaboration between the tourism statistics and policy communities. They are excellent examples of cooperation within a country and highlight what can be achieved in relation to measuring the sustainability of tourism.


Reliable and comparable metrics are increasingly needed to better understand the complex economic, social and environmental aspects of tourism for sustainable development. “Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism – Lessons from Pilots” draws on 12 case studies from around the world. In each case, they show how tourism’s impacts are being measured on the ground, both at the national level and at specific regions and destinations.

These pilots provide concrete data for use by destination managers and policymakers. They also contribute to the development of the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, which aims to become the leading global statistical standard for the sector.


Additional MST pilot developments and other relevant work

Pilot studies and country experiences are divided into 3 sections. Click on the corresponding country/institution to view more information.

Pilot studies under development in MST framework

  • Work on pilot study:
    • Measuring Fiji's Sustainable Tourism - Feasibility Report
      Fiji is a significant tourism destination and, in turn, tourism contributes much to the nation’s economic structure and growth. At the same time, Fiji’s national policies and plans recognises that continued growth in this sector needs to be balanced with the broader social and environmental context in which tourism activity takes place. To this end, tourism is recognised as a core part of national development planning and a key sector in its forthcoming national development plan and the Green Growth Framework for Fiji.
  • Relevant policy documents: A Green growth Framework for Fiji
    This Green Growth Framework is an innovative tool to accelerate integrated and inclusive sustainable development that inspires action at all levels in the country to build environmental resilience, build social improvement and reduce poverty, build economic growth, and build resilience to the anticipated adverse affects of climate change

  • Work on pilot study:
  • Past experiences:
    • Costantino C. – Tudini A. (2005), "How to develop an accounting framework for ecologically sustainable tourism", in Lanza A. – Markandya A. – Pigliaru F. (editors), The Economics of Tourism and Sustainable Development, The Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei series on Economics and the Environment, Edward Elgar, UK, USA
    • Tourism and sustainability: macro-accounting approach for measuring the links between tourism and environment
      The paper presents the implementation of one specific option considered in the IRTS 2008 tourism sustainability: to incorporate tourism as a specific set of industries and consumers within environmental hybrid flow accounts of the SEEA. Actually it is proposed, as a way of doing that, to integrate hybrid environmental flow accounts specific for tourism and elements of the TSA in a single accounting framework

Country experiences

  • Developing criteria and indicators for the sustainable development of tourism destinations in Germany

  • Contribution to UNEP - Profile of Sustainability in some Mediterranean tourism destinations: The evaluating framework of the tourism activity
    This document presents an operational approach to the notion of sustainable tourism in the context of sustainable development and to the creation of a framework for the evaluation of tourism activity’s performance as well as its impact to the host area, the Tourism Sustainability Assessment and Policy Approach. Moreover, it gives the guidelines about data and other information that has to be collected in order to create the sustainability profile of a destination.
  • Towards an Observatory and a "Quality Label" of Tourism Sustainability in the Mediterranean
    The work presents an overall framework, the Tourism Sustainability Assessment and Policy Approach, a methodology based on an extended version of the DPSIR approach, with common definitions of sustainable tourism and sustainable destinations. Next, a wide range of economic, social and environmental variables and indicators are proposed to measure supply and demand in tourism, the results and performance of tourism and the impact of tourism on the destination’s sustainability.

International initiatives

  • Indicators for Measuring Competitiveness in Tourism: A Guidance Document
    This work provides a tool guide for countries to evaluate and measure tourism competitiveness over the time and inform policies. Within a new framework for measurement based around a shared definition of tourism competitiveness, it proposes and describes a set of core, supplementary and future development indicators.