Global Survey of Climate Action in Tourism
UNWTO is inviting public and private stakeholders from around the world to take part in a Global Survey of Climate Action in Tourism and help identify frontrunning initiatives and opportunities to accelerate climate action in tourism. Launched on World Environment Day, the survey aims to support the ongoing efforts of the sector to reduce its environmental impacts and carbon emissions, as well as to strengthen its capacity to adapt to a changing climate. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The pandemic and its impact on tourism, jobs and revenues, offers an unprecedented reminder of the need to rebalance our relationship with people, planet and prosperity. The green transformation of the sector is needed, not just for the planet, but also for tourism itself, boosting competitiveness and increasing resilience.” The Global Survey is part of the preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 and the results will be presented in November 2021 in Glasgow. It has been developed within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme. The survey is open until 15 July 2021 and destinations, businesses and tourism associations are all invited to take part. Please find more information on the survey here  
COVID-19 Related Travel restrictions - A Global Review for Tourism
The scale of disruption caused by COVID-19 to global tourism is shown in a comprehensive report on travel restrictions from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The report, published at a time of unprecedented disruption for the sector, shows that almost all global destinations have imposed restrictions on travel since January 2020, including complete bans on all travel as they work to contain the pandemic. Over recent years, as the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO has been regularly monitoring travel facilitation and observing a continuous trend towards more openness. COVID-19 has dramatically interrupted this. According to research carried out for the new report, as of 6 April, 96% of all worldwide destinations have introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic. Around 90 destinations have completely or partially closed their borders to tourists, while a further 44 are closed to certain tourists depending on country of origin.
Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative aims to articulate, support and scale-up action by tourism stakeholders and is building a global alliance to fight plastic pollution. As part of the activities of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, the Initiative is led by UN Environment and UNWTO in collaboration with Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Recognizing the global importance of the tourism sector and its role as an agent of change, the Initiative will support partner organizations in making better use of plastics in their operations and reducing plastic waste. In particular, action towards 2025 is being structured through the development of a menu of commitments for private sector, destinations and associations to define concrete roadmaps for implementation by 2025.
Australia’s South West Tourism Observatory (ASWTO)
The Australia’s South West Sustainable Tourism Observatory (ASWTO) is the first of its kind in Australia and will be hosted by the Tourism Research Cluster of Curtin University supporting the formulation and implementation of sustainable tourism policies, strategies and management processes through continuous and systematic measurement of sustainability indicators. The observatory is supported by a committed group of public and private stakeholders and will start monitoring a set of 20 region-specific indicators covering 11 thematic areas, including: tourism seasonality, employment, energy-, water-, and solid waste management, economic benefits, governance, regional production cycles, inclusion and accessibility as well as landscape quality.
Panama City Tourism Observatory
The Tourism Observatory of Panama City is the first of its kind in Panama. Established in 2018, the objective of the Observatory is to collect and organize timely and quality information for the planning of tourism in the country, supporting decision makers in the planning and strengthening of sustainable tourism in Panama. Leading the way in tourism data management, the Observatory will be leading the way for similar initiatives throughout the country, gathering valuable experiences for future expansions. With the purpose to increase also the public participation, especially from local communities, in development processes, the Observatory is hosted by the National Tourism Chamber of Panama and counts on the support of many different stakeholders in the destination.
Aegean Islands Observatory
Established by the University of the Aegean in collaboration with UNWTO and with the support of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece, the first Sustainable Tourism Observatory in Europe opened in the Aegan Islands, the main archipelago of Greece, in early 2013. The observatory has several physical sites, one in Rhodes for the South Aegean, another in Chios for the North Aegean, and one at the University of Aegean in Mytilene, on the island of Lesvos. The monitoring efforts focus on the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism in the Aegean archipelago and seek to serve as a model to expand the concept to a national level. The monitoring and implementation of sustainable tourism practices are being realized in close cooperation with the tourism public and private sector in the area of the Aegean.
Tourism Observatory of the City of Buenos Aires
The Tourism Observatory of the City of Buenos Aires is a General Direction within the Buenos Aires Tourism Board, under the direct supervision of the President of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board. The Buenos Aires Tourism Board reports to the General Secretary of International Affairs, under the direct supervision of the Mayor of Buenos Aires, who is the Head of the government of the city. The mission of the Buenos Aires Tourism Observatory is to gather data and generate key information to guide the private and public sectors’ decision making process and to become global leaders in the production of strategic knowledge using Big Data and innovative research methods, thus strengthening tourism governance and taking effective data driven decisions in an ever-changing and competitive market.
Antigua Guatemala Sustainable Tourism Observatory
The Antigua Guatemala Sustainable Tourism Observatory is located in the city of La Antigua Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Observatory will periodically collect data and scientific evidence as it monitors the effect tourism has on the historic city. This data will then be used to assess how tourism can best be used to help drive sustainable growth and development.
Navarre Tourism Observatory
As first Tourism Observatory in Spain to join INSTO, the Navarre Tourism Observatory aims to be the reference site for stakeholders at all levels and to support them with Tourism Intelligence in the successful strengthening of tourism as a strategic activity for the region in a context of maximum sustainability. The Observatory is hosted by the Directorate of Tourism and Trade of the Government of Navarre and builds upon already established monitoring activities in the economic area, extending its efforts to a wider monitoring approach, including regular measurement of social and environmental impacts of the sector.
South Tyrol Sustainable Tourism Observatory
The South Tyrol Sustainable Tourism Observatory was established in 2018 and is aiming at continuously monitoring, evaluating and communicating on South Tyrol’s (i.e. the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen) tourism developments and the impacts they have. With the generated data in areas such as mobility, climate change, regional products and quality control, employment and many other topics, the Observatory will support awareness raising activities and decision-making processes of different stakeholders groups, serving the local community as think-tank that fosters communication, collaboration and evidence-based destination management.
Alentejo Sustainable Tourism Observatory
The Alentejo Sustainable Tourism Observatory was created through a partnership between Portugal Tourism, the Regional Tourism Board of Alentejo, the University of Évora, as well as both the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and Santarém. ASTO is the first monitoring entity within a nation-wide observatory initiative launched by the Portugese Government in the framework of the 2027 Tourism Strategy. Monitoring areas include, among others: Community Participation, Tourism Seasonality, Competitiveness of Tourism Businesses, Water Availability and Conservation, Local Satisfaction With Tourism; Destination Economic Benefits; Employment.
Toba Lake Tourism Observatory
Hosted by the University of Sumatera Utara, the observatory monitors Pangururan in which there are 25 villages and 3 urban villages.
Sanur Tourism Observatory
Hosted by the Research Centre for Culture and Tourism of the Udayana University, the Observatory monitors Sanur tourism destination consisting of three villages which are Sanur Kauh Village, Sanur Village and Sanur Kaja Village.
Sonoma County Sustainable Tourism Observatory
The monitoring area of the Sonoma County Sustainable Tourism Observatory is strategically located 45 minutes North of the Golden Gate Bridge and the metropolitan areas of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Thanks to the region's premier position as a wine destination, its proximity to major innovation hubs and its abundant variety of culinary and scenic attractions, the area attracts millions of visitors every year. The observatory is the first of its kind under the umbrella of the Coalition to Observe and Advance Sustainable Tourism (COAST), which aims to serve as an anchor for a possible network of Pacific Coast observatories, connecting key tourism destinations along the Pacific Coast of North America from San Francisco and the Channel Islands , stretching from San Francisco and the Channel Islands in the south to Vancouver and Victoria BC in the north. The observatory aims to share best practices which have been developed in the destination and learn from other member destinations of the INSTO network to advance its work, especially in the areas of water management, the impacts of agricultural-tourism growth, climate change responsiveness, the viable regeneration of essential public places, employment and local living opportunities, among others.
Pangandaran Tourism Observatory
Pangandaran is located on the southern coast of the island of Java and has become a popular tourist destination because of its famous surfing beach. Hosted by the Bandung Institute of Technology, the Observatory focuses on monitoring tourism impacts in the Batukaras Village, which is located in the Cijulang District of the Pangandaran Regency.
Sleman Tourism Observatory
Hosted by the Magister and Doctor Tourism Program of the Graduate School of Gadjah Mada University, the University the observatory seeks to foster an increased understanding of sustainable tourism development in the regency. The initial regional scope of the observatory focuses on the tourism village of Pulesari in Wonokerto, Turi district of Sleman, which is increasingly known for its potential of outdoor activities. The work of the observatory includes the assessment of the village as a destination for sustainable tourism and the analysis of current and possible tourism activities in that area.
Lombok Tourism Observatory
Hosted by the Faculty of Economics of Mataram University, the observatory monitors two destinations, namely Sesaot and Senggigi, both nature-based tourist destinations. While Sesaot is only in its initial phase of development and located within the island, Senggigi is - in comparison - more known due to its coastal character with beaches, housing already a small variety of different accommodations. For both destinations, it is the goal to qualify them as sustainable tourist destinations based on local involvement, creating positive impacts for all stakeholders.
Croatian Sustainable Tourism Observatory
The Croatian Sustainable Tourism Observatory (CROSTO) is hosted by the Institute for Tourism in Zagreb, which is responsible for monitoring sustainable tourism in the Adriatic Croatia. CROSTO advises local communities on minimizing possible negative impacts of tourism development and measures their economic benefits and energy, water and waste control. The country's commitment to sustainability has been emphasized in its Tourism Development Strategy 2020. The initiative aims at fostering innovation in the framework of sustainable tourism.
The Tourism and Events Observatory of the City of São Paulo
The Tourism and Events Observatory of the City of São Paulo (OTE) is a pioneer in data collection and analysis for the tourism in the State capital. Lead by the Department of Research and Market Intelligence of São Paulo Turismo, OTE was created in 2008 with the goal of analyzing the tourism behavior and the events segment in São Paulo.
Guanajuato Tourism Observatory
The Tourism Observatory of Guanajuato was created in 2008 and is an organization dedicated to permanently research, analyze, evaluate and consult about the performance of the tourism sector. It is monitoring tourism activity in the entire State of Guanajuato through an inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach that allows for measuring and monitoring tourism in various relevant aspects. It focusses its efforts especially on issues regarding governance, tourism demand, tourism services offer, infrastructure, local community benefits, tourist attractions and sustainability.
Jiangmen Observatory
The Jiangmen Observatory is the ninth observatory in China. Situated at the Pearl River Estuary and south of the South China Sea, Jiangmen has a permanent resident population of 4.51 million inhabitants.The monitoring efforts of the observatory focus especially on measuring the overall development of tourism, including local economic benefits, local satisfaction, employment, seasonality, water, sewage and waste water management, as well as the protection of the existing World Culture Heritage Sites in the destination.
Xishuangbanna Observatory
Xishuangbanna is an eco-tourism area rich in natural, historical and cultural resources which include folklore, tropical rain forests, rare plants and wildlife. An additional feature of Xishuangbanna is the composition of its population, with 13 ethnic groups besides the Han living in this region. The focus of the observatory lies on monitoring sustainability and indigenous groups, ensuring that tourism generates socio-economic benefits for the various communities.
Changshu Observatory
Changshu is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and is part of the Yangtze River Delta. The city covers an area of 1276 square kilometers (including the Yangtze River water area). In Chinese county-level city, it is the first city owning the title of “National Garden City” and “International Garden City”. For the past 5 years, income from the tourism sector has increased on average by more than 20% on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, the number of visitor has risen by more than 10% yearly. The observatory focuses on two major themes: 'the development of the tourism industry in developed areas and enhancement of residents' quality of life and overall happiness' as well as 'the development and ecological conservation of the tourism industry in developed areas'.
Henan Observatory
The Henan Observatory is focusing on two cities within the Henan province, namely Luoyang and Jiaozuo. The province is situated in the central-eastern part of China on the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. It is one of the main birthplaces of Chinese Nation and Chinese Civilization, where cultural sites and natural landscapes coexist harmoniously. Overall, there are 4 ancient capitals within the province. Luoyang, capital during multiple dynasties, is home to Baima Si (White Horse Temple). Founded in the 1st century, it's among China’s first Buddhist temples. Nearby, the Longmen Grottoes have Buddhist rock carvings dating to the 5th century. Due to these attractions, tourism has become a core sector of Henan’s economy. The observatory's monitoring efforts include research regarding the socio-economic and environmental aspects of tourism development as well as the protection of historical relic and the tourism development around these sites.
Kanas Observatory
Bordering Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, Kanas is a lake nature reserve in north-west China. The lake is located in a valley in the Altai Mountains, near the very northern tip of Xinjiang and the major tourism attraction in that part of the country. Due to its rural characteristic with its vast natural resources, the Kanas Observatory focuses its monitoring efforts especially on tourism in remote and border areas.
Chengdu Observatory
Chengdu is the fourth most populated city in mainland China and the capital of the Sichuan province and an important economic hub in western China. Chengdu's history dates back to at least the 4th century B.C., when it served as capital for the Shu Kingdom. The city is one of China’s most visited destinations, which is why the Chengdu Observatory is naturally focused on tourism and urbanization, along with post-disaster reconstruction.
Zhangjiajie Observatory
Zhangjiajie, a city in the northwest of China's Hunan province, is home to the famed Wulingyuan Scenic Area. This protected zone encompasses thousands of jagged quartzite sandstone columns, many of which rise over 200m, as well as caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The third observatory in China was established at the entrance of the National Park of Zhangjiajie in the Hunan province, China. The park is the first national forest park in China, receiving up to 40 000 visitors a day during high season. Tourism is the main sector in the area, and the focus of the Zhangjiajie Observatory is tourism for regional development.
Huangshan Observatory
A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of China’s major tourist destinations, Huangshan is a mountain range in the southern province of Anhui, famous for its unique granite peak scenery. Besides the scenic area around the site, the observatory focuses its efforts also on two villages, namely Xidi and Hongcun, which are located in Yi county, Huangshan City, and which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These two villages are vivid illustrations of a type of human settlement created during a feudal period and based on a prosperous trading economy. The observatory monitoring these sites focuses especially on environmental and cultural heritage protection.
Yangshuo Observatory
Yangshuo is a county in the northeastern region of Guangxi, about 1.5h away from the city Guilin. The area is most famous for its dramatic karst mountain landscape and outdoor recreation. In 2006, the observatory which focuses on both Yangshuo and Guilin, was the first to be established, due to the fast rise in tourism in the region, and the growing importance of the sector to the area. Its focus lies especially on community participation and tourism impacts.
UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories
The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) was created in 2004 with the main objective to support the continuous improvement of sustainability and resilience in the tourism sector through systematic, timely and regular monitoring of tourism performance and impact and to connect dedicated destinations in order to better understand destination-wide resource use and foster the responsible management of tourism. Through the systematic application of monitoring, evaluation and information management techniques, the initiative provides policy makers, planners, tourism managers and other relevant stakeholders with key tools to strengthen institutional capacities to support the formulation and implementation of sustainable tourism policies, strategies, plans and management processes.
Waikato Tourism Monitoring Observatory
The Waikato Tourism Monitoring Observatory is the first observatory to open in New Zealand and is hosted by the Waikato Management School of the University of Waikato. The Waikato Observatory seeks to support the strengthening of the world famous surfing town Raglan as a sustainable destination, while continuing to protect the unique landscapes and the biodiversity of Waitomo and its iconic tourist attraction the Waitomo Caves. The observatory focuses its monitoring efforts especially on crucial socio-cultural aspects such as ‘local and visitor satisfaction’, ‘destination economic benefits’, ‘tourism seasonality’ and ‘development control’. Over time, efforts will be extended, covering additional thematic areas related to waste management, housing issues, water supply and sewage management, among others.