Barcelona Joins UNWTO’s Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories
UNWTO has welcomed the Barcelona Tourism Observatory into its growing International Network of Sustainable Observatories (INSTO).
Tourism is one of the leading economic sectors for the city of Barcelona and the surrounding region, responsible for more than 10% of local GDP. The Barcelona Tourism Observatory (BTO) will work to help guide the sector towards greater sustainability. As with other members of the INSTO initiative, the observatory will provide data and analysis to be used to guide evidence-based decision-making. This will help Destination Barcelona better deal with the recovery of tourism and in the long run with the large tourist numbers and ensure the sector is managed in a sustainable and responsible manner.
Commenting, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “We warmly welcome Barcelona into our growing global network of observatories. As one of the world’s leading destinations, the Observatory can help Barcelona better manage its tourism sector, recovering and growing back more sustainably for the benefit of visitors and residents alike.”
For Turisme de Barcelona, the President of the Executive Committee, Eduard Torres, said the development “reinforces the importance of Barcelona’s international role in the field of tourism knowledge as well as positioning us to make even more progress towards sustainability across our sector”. According to Mr. Xavier Marcé, Councillor for Tourism and Creative Industries of the City Hall of Barcelona, being part of the network “will help the Barcelona City Council in making data-based decisions to achieve the goals of managing the visitor economy within the parameters of sustainability of local economy, as well as increasing the return and benefits to citizens.” Núria Marín, the President of the
Barcelona Provincial Council, similarly noted the “the need to link the city of Barcelona with the rest of the province of Barcelona under the concept of Destination Barcelona to analyze the wider reality of tourism activity.”
The Barcelona Tourism Observatory is supported by Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and Turisme de Barcelona. This is the fourth Observatory in Spain, after Canary Islands, Navarra and Mallorca, and brings the worldwide total to 31.
The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) was created in 2004 with the main objectives to support the continuous improvement of sustainability and resilience in the tourism sector through systematic, timely and regular monitoring of tourism performance and to connect dedicated destinations, helping them to exchange and improve knowledge and understanding about destination-wide resource use and the responsible management of tourism.