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Second Expert Group Meeting World Heritage Periodic Reporting UNESCO Headquarters 22-23 January 2007. Statistical and sustainability indicators concerning tourism. Mr. Gabor Vereczi Sustainable Development of Tourism World Tourism Organization. C - - 39 - - 38 - - 37 - - 36 - - 35 - - -.

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Second Expert Group Meeting

World Heritage Periodic Reporting

UNESCO Headquarters

22-23 January 2007

Statistical and sustainability indicators concerning tourism

Mr. Gabor VerecziSustainable Development of TourismWorld Tourism Organization

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C-- 39-- 38-- 37-- 36-- 35---


A “thermometer” of tourism sustainabilityfor destinations

Alert: remedial action!!

Caution: preventive measures!

OK, doing well

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Sustainability indicators

basic tools for tourism planning, management and monitoring

  • To identify and measure the entire range of impacts (environmental, social and economic) that tourism can have in a particular area or society.

  • Accurate information is needed for responsible decision-making

Sustainability indicators are information sets which are formally selected for a regular use to measure changes in key assets and issues of tourism destinations and sites.

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Benefits from good indicators

  • Better decision-making, lower risks and costs, identify limits and opportunities

  • Identification of emerging risks - prevention

  • Identification of impacts - corrective action

  • Performance measurement of the implementation of development plans and management actions

  • Greater public accountability, better communication

  • Constant monitoring – adaptive management and continuous improvement

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Expression of indicators

  • Quantitative measurements:

  • Raw data (number of tourists visiting a site/year/month, volume of waste generated)

  • Ratios (ratio of the n. of tourists to local residents)

  • Percentage (% of trained staff, % change in visitor numbers, expenditures)

  • Qualitative/normative measurements:

  • Category indices (level of protection)

  • Normative indicators(existence of tourism management plan, yes/no)

  • Nominal indicators(e.g. eco-labels, certifications)

  • Opinion-based indicators(level of satisfaction of tourists, or of local residents)

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Monitoring takes time and resources:Selection of indicators

  • Feasibility criteria:

  • Relevance to the issue (who is using and how?)

  • Data availability (capacity to collect and process)

  • Credibilityof the information

  • Clarityand understandability to users

  • Comparabilityover time and across jurisdictions or regions

Good indicators: easy to measure and understand

Use of alternative, approximate measures if needed

Start with a smaller set, develop capacities gradually

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1 2 3 4 5

Managers are surrounded by indicators

1994 ☻☻☻☻2004 ☻☻

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  • Some common deficiencies in the application of indicators at destinations

  • Lack of data, inconsistency of collection (just occasional surveys)

  • Monitoring activity does not cover all key sustainability issues (e.g. more focus on economic performance and indicators)

  • Lack of technical capacities, qualified staff, equipment

  • Lack of coordination between agencies collecting and using data (sometimes duplication), lack of involvement of private sector

  • Not taking advantage on data collection and processing capacities (e.g. authorities can get support from educational and research institutions, students for surveys)

  • Data and info available is not linked to planning and management processes, not used by relevant organizations

  • Data is not processed sufficiently to support decision making (data rich and information poor situations) and communication needs

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Key issues to monitor destinationson tourism at heritage sites Possible sources from the new PR format

  • Level of protection (legislations, designations) (Sect.I-conventions, national-local protection

  • Use levels and intensity (Sect. II data sheet, number of visitors – possible breakdown – domestic and foreign, annual distribution)

  • Visitor management and infrastructure (congestion management) – Sect. II assessment, congestion - factor table

  • Damages, deterioration (caused by tourism) – Factor table

  • Tourism’s support for site conservation (revenue generation) – Data sheet, would be good to further specify in assessment

  • Visitor’s profile, satisfaction and perception – ask on availability of evaluation practices in assessment table

  • Benefits to local communities (satisfaction of locals) Assessment table – 6.4 needs further specification, perhaps a specific section

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Monitoring preservation of OUVs destinationsMonitoring the factors affecting OUVs

  • Indicators:Impact-performance, management response, perception-opinion of stakeholders

  • Provide a supplement with a list of suggested indicators for the factors, with methodological guidelinesm examples

  • Encourage site managers to monitor indicators for the selected priority factors

  • Build capacity, promote and disseminate good practices in monitoring

  • Create a benchmarking facility, observatory

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Developing a regular data collection and reporting mechanism destinations

Reporting template:

Sustainability or tourism management issue

Definition of Indicator, method of calculation

Data source

Frequency of data collection and reporting

Observed trends

Objectives, targets (desired trends)

Actions to reach targets (including improvements in indicator)

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White Dear Cave College destinations


Commercial incursion, visual pollution of landscape

Indicator: number of commercial signs visible from scenic viewpoints

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Defining carrying capacity destinationsand optimal use levels

A key quality concept with different dimensions:-Environmental-Cultural-Social-Psychological-Infrastructural-Management

Different types of users, forms, needs

Dynamic, depends on management

Visitor management models

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Sydney Quarantine Station (Australia): destinations

Tourism Optimization Management Model (TOMM)

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Perception by tourists and host communities destinations

Computer-generated photos illustrating a range of use levels

Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) method

  • International Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing Sates (SIDS) and other Islands was convened jointly by WTO with UNEP in Lanzarote, Spain, 1998 (Final Report -PDF). Based on its resolutions, regional meetings were organized in collaboration with UNEP:

  • Sustainable Tourism and Competitiveness in the Islands of the MediterraneanIsland of Capri, Italy, 17-20 May 2000Final Report-PDF

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Integrated approach to congestion management: destinations

Actions at 3 levels, along the tourism supply chain

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Indicators for sustainable tourism destinationsat cultural heritage sites

Controlling use intensity

  • Existence of appropriate visitor registry system

  • Total number of visitors to the site and its key areas (per peak day, season, month, year) - seasonality

  • % of area opened for visitors, current building used (open, closed, abandoned)

  • Number of tourists per square meter at the site and its key zones in peak days

  • N. of tour operators with licence and permits to operate at the site

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Visitor management and infrastructure destinations

  • Tourism issues are incorporated in site-management plan (yes/no), existence of tourism management plan, existence of zoning for tourism use

  • Existence of congestion management practices (at the site, destination, demand levels)

  • Number of staff handling visitors (ratio of staff to tourists), level of training (guards, guides, information, catering, management, etc.)

  • Existence of basic visitor facilities (access, toilets, catering, parking), per number of visitors

  • Existence of visitor/information centre, interpretative materials (e.g. brochures, panels), guided tours, trails, signage (length of trails, number and language of signs)

  • Perception of tourists on crowding, quality of services

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Damages, deterioration destinations(caused by tourism)

  • % of site open to visitors in degraded condition

  • Number of incidents of damage caused by tourists, violation of rules

  • Species population: sighting, counting

  • Air and noise pollution caused by tourist transportation

  • Cleanliness of sites: amount of waste collected, availability of waste collection facilities, littering, perception of visitors on cleanliness

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Tourism’s support for site conservation destinations

  • Revenue generated from tourism (per sources: entrance and parking fees, commissions and licence fees, services, sale of products, image rights, donations, etc.)

  • % of tourism revenue retained at site, used for site maintenance and conservation

  • % of site restored

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Visitor’s profile, satisfaction/perception destinations

  • Origin (domestic, international), age, gender of visitors, mode of travelling (individual, group)

  • Satisfaction/perception: services, facilities, experience, crowding

  • Info gathered at entrance (registry) and through exit surveys

  • Complaints received

  • Number, % of return visitors

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Benefits to local communities destinations

  • Number of employees from local community (unskilled and skilled labour)

  • Number of local SMEs related to tourism at the sites (TOs, accommodation, catering, transport), number of locals employed in them

  • Infrastructure development at the site, benefiting also local communities

  • Satisfaction of locals (survey on opinions, attitudes)

  • Existence of coordination mechanisms (with local authorities, private sector associations)

  • Negative impacts on culture

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Statistical indicators for destinationssite management and conservation


  • A set of baseline issues and indicators

  • Supplementary indicators (suited for different types of sites and issues)

  • Site-specific indicators (defined for particular issues at each site)

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Suggestions to develop an indicators programme for heritage sites

Strenghten site manager’s capacities in monitoring and reporting for more regular use (daily operations, annual evaluations)

  • Define an indicators framework (baseline and supplementary indicators)

  • Develop pilot projects at selected heritage sites, (UNWTO indicators workshop methodology):

    • detailed case studies (demonstrating good practices)

    • participatory approach, demonstration of planning and management processes in a real situation, with the participation of national and local stakeholders – creating dialogue and triggering tourism planning

    • test the indicators

    • train site managers on monitoring, evaluation, and congestion management practices

  • Consolidate the framework, produce guidelines and manuals

  • Upscale the indicators application (replication), exchange of experiences, periodic revision

  • Create an Award on excellence in site management (recognize good practices)

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Thank you sites