The pioneering statistical framework, led by the World Tourism Organisation, has been adopted by all 193 Member States. The Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) will thus become the internationally accepted reference framework for measuring the economic, social and environmental aspects of tourism. Its adoption marks a historic milestone towards realising the full potential of the sector, addressing the urgent need for a harmonised methodology to effectively assess the sustainability of tourism.

“Tourism is a powerful force for positive change when managed responsibly and sustainably. The adoption of a statistical framework for measuring tourism sustainability represents a paradigm shift that goes beyond GDP to measure what matters most to people and the planet.”

This result is the fruit of a seven-year process led by Austria and Spain as co-chairs of the World Tourism Organisation’s Statistical Committee, and Saudi Arabia and the Seychelles as co-chairs.  Under the auspices of the Committee, the framework was developed thanks to the extraordinary work of a multi-stakeholder group of experts from more than 40 countries and more than 30 international and regional organisations, including the World Tourism Organisation’s Statistical Committee, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), sub-national authorities and observatories, academia and others, on measuring tourism sustainability.

Looking ahead, the Commission has started to develop an implementation programme. The last time the Commission adopted a statistical standard for tourism was in 2008, when the international recommendations on tourism statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account framework were presented.

In the framework of the World Tourism Organisation’s Statistical Committee, Austria, Spain and the World Tourism Organisation jointly organised a high-level side event on “Measuring Tourism Sustainability: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Statistics”, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organisation’s Committee on Economic and Environmental Accounting (UN Tourism).