Client: United Nations – World Tourism Organization
Countries: Argentina, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Oman. (plus global steering committee)
Year Project Undertaken: 1992-present
Tourisk Inc. has a continuing link with the UN-WTO for provision of advice on sustainable tourism and development and use of indicators. Current role is principal expert and trainer on Observatories of Sustainable Tourism and sustainability indicators.
Tourisk has been the main supplier to the World Tourism Organization of work on sustainable development and use of indicators for tourism destinations. This project, lasting over two decades has involved development and practical testing of a community/destination level program for indicators of sustainable tourism development in impacted destinations. The initial publication, What Tourism Managers Need to Know, (UNWTO 1996) initiated the global program and has been published in eight languages. Specific studies and training, including regional workshops have occurred in five continents.
At the community level, the program has involved implementation of local level pilot studies and participatory workshops for destination specific issue scans, indicator development and support for integrated destination planning processes in e.g., Cozumel Mexico, Keszthely Hungary, Beruwala Sri Lanka, Chagauramas Trinidad, Kukljica Croatia, Phuket Thailand, and Yangshuo China, Jeddah Saudi Arabia, Bohol Philippines, Muscat Oman, and Kanas China. In addition, specific studies and applications have been done in Villa Gesell and Peninsula Valdes Argentina – a new Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, several sites in Cuba, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Nova Scotia and Jasper Alberta Canada.
The program has developed methods to mobilize local communities, park managers, and the tourism industry in developing a vision of sustainability for destinations, identifying key issues and development of consensus indicators to respond to the key issues of a destination. It has been catalytic in the formation of partnerships in delivery of programs involving the mangers of the key natural and cultural assets, the local populace, different public authorities, and a broad range of tourism enterprises in destination planning and management.
The project has produced publications on indicators development for each destination, as well as the book Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations: A Guidebook, Madrid, World Tourism Organization, 2004, a compendium of international experience in development and use of indicators for the tourism industry. This 500-page Guidebook (Chief Author Ted Manning, editor Margo Manning) mobilizes the work of more than 60 authors to address indicators use for key issues and to showcase best practice. New indicators workshops are in the planning stage for other destinations in all world regions incorporating the indicators approach, the GSTC criteria for sustainability and the new program from UNWTO to establish observatories of sustainable tourism at the destination level.
From left to right: Kourion Cyprus, Beruwala Sri Lanka, Yangshuo China, Keszthely Hungary.