/Spatial Data the Focus of UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories Meeting

Spatial Data the Focus of UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories Meeting

The World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) concluded its global annual meeting today in Madrid, welcoming observatories and other tourism stakeholders to share experiences of measuring and monitoring the impact tourism has on destinations, and explore the opportunities provided to tourism by innovation in location services.

With a revamped structure featuring a mentoring breakfast, discussion rounds and workshops, this year’s Global INSTO Meeting focused on offering participants opportunities for interaction. Tourism stakeholders exchanged knowledge on achievements and challenges in measuring social, environmental and economic tourism impacts at destinations. In keeping with UNWTO’s priority of promoting technological innovation that fosters sustainable tourism, attendees took part in three workshops on the potential of geo-referenced information for destination planning.

Guests saw live demonstrations of spatial analysis, brainstormed project ideas using satellite images and learned how to build data dashboards. Such advances in location intelligence can support destinations create more transparent and timely communication and decision-making. The workshops were co-led by the destinations South Tyrol (Italy), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Portugal in cooperation with private and public sector partners ESRi Spain, SEGITTUR and Vizzuality.

The 2018 Global INSTO Meeting also accepted two new observatories to the network – Panama City, Panama and South Tyrol, Italy – taking INSTO’s membership to 24. “Installing a project of this magnitude will allow us to continually measure the effects of tourism in a particular destination or region. We welcome this initiative with great enthusiasm considering the benefits that the entire tourism sector will receive in the short- and medium-term, and its positive impact on many other economic activities,” said Gustavo Him, Minister of Tourism of Panama, on joining INSTO.

“The decision to join the international observatory network brings with it the responsibility to shape South Tyrol’s development according to sustainability principles. For some years, South Tyrol has been establishing itself as a green region. We see this as another important step in that direction and recognize the value of sharing progress with other pioneer destinations,” said Arno Kompatscher, Governor of South Tyrol.