The 48th Session of United Nations Statistical Commission has supported the UNWTO-led initiative of developing an international framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST). The initiative, being implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Statistics Division, aims to develop a new statistical framework for tourism — one that integrates the various dimensions of sustainable tourism (economic, environmental and social) and across relevant levels (global, national and subnational).
Overwhelming appreciation was expressed to the work of the UNWTO Committee on Statistics and TSA and the Working Group of Experts on Measuring Sustainable Tourism, which is leading the development of the new framework. The Commission encouraged the development of a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism as a priority to support more integrated policy in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in response to requests from Member States and various stakeholders.
It also highlighted the importance of linking the TSA to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), the elaboration of a TSA Compilation Guide, and the need to enhance capacity building for measuring sustainable tourism, notably in compiling TSA.
Established in 1947, the Commission gathers Chief Statisticians from Member States and is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities. The last time that the Statistical Commission discussed a UNWTO report was in 2008, when the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) framework was approved.
Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) will be the central focus of the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourism, to be held in Manila, the Philippines, 21-24 June 2017.
The Manila Conference is an Official Event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 and will be a landmark opportunity to discuss methodological advances, explore emerging issues and learn from pioneering country experiences. A Ministerial Roundtable will kick-start the Conference to underline the importance of measurement in better understanding the role that sustainable tourism plays in fostering economic growth, social inclusiveness, and the protection of cultural and natural assets.