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Observatories advancing tourism impact monitoring at destination level

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Observatories from all around the world, as well as other stakeholders from the public, private and academic fields have discussed the latest experiences in monitoring tourism impacts at destination level through the application of traditional and non-traditional data sources.

The World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) hosted over 100 experts to its global annual meeting in Madrid, Spain, .

For the fourth time, UNWTO hosted the global INSTO meeting at its headquarters, offering the participants a diverse programme including the traditional mentoring breakfast for new and interesting destinations, keynotes on different topics such as Location Intelligence, Composite Indexes, Resource Management, and Dynamic Flow Analytics.

Observatories and industry experts shared latest techniques and experiences with the measurement of the mandatory issue areas (local satisfaction with tourism, destination economic benefits, employment, tourism seasonality, energy and water management, sewage management, solid waste management, governance) as well as the measurement of CO2 emissions and accessibility at destination level.

With the recognition of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Observatory (BC, Canada) during the meeting, a total of 5 new destinations joined the INSTO network in 2019: the Navarre Tourism Observatory (Spain), the Tourism Observatory of the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina), The Antigua Guatemala Sustainable Tourism Observatory (Guatemala), the Australia’s South West Tourism Observatory (Australia) and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Observatory (Canada).

Glenn Mandziuk, President & Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region said: “We are honoured to be selected as Canada’s first destination to join a network of leading organizations from around the world as part of the UNWTO‘s INSTO program that will help us share, measure, and understand the economic, social and cultural implications of tourism. We believe this important announcement continues to showcase our Region’s strong commitment to developing tourism in a responsible and sustainable manner.”

Lisa Beare, British Columbia Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, added: “This international recognition of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association showcases years of innovative work towards sustainable tourism management. Our vision for tourism in British Columbia is one of responsible growth, where the benefits of tourism are shared with everyone. Successful tourism practices have evolved beyond focusing solely on economic returns, and today also consider the social, cultural and environmental impacts as well. Congratulations to everyone involved in achieving this designation in the Thompson Okanagan, and thank you for your leadership.”

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