Government policymakers, statisticians and relevant stakeholders from across the Asia and the Pacific region came together for a special workshop focused on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism.
The workshop was organized by UNWTO in collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the Philippines and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea. The sessions featured prominent speakers from governments as well as from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), Auckland University and UNWTO. To further enrich cross-country and interregional learning, guest speakers also came from Fiji, Jamaica, Netherlands, Thailand and the Philippines.
Participants underscored the importance of implementing the MST Statistical Framework not only for informing national policy and subnational tourism management, but also to ensure aligned action and monitor progress towards regional and global policy ambitions such as climate action and the Paris Agreement, circular economy, the Sustainable Development Goals, the SAMOA Pathway, the Convention on Biological Diversity and others.
The workshop provided a platform to review the MST Statistical Framework and its main concepts, definitions, and tables for producing credible and comparable data on tourism sustainability. Participants discussed the value of a flexible implementation of MST based on priorities and circumstances, best strategies for strengthening data capture capabilities and making the most of available data, and the importance of engaging stakeholders across the board. Other elements raised for successful implementation included a shared communication strategy, education not only in the production of data but also its use, and drawing up a commonly agreed roadmap.
The workshop brought together more than 80 key virtual participants from National Tourism Authorities and National Statistical Offices in the Asia and the Pacific.