Measuring Sustainability in Tourism – Opportunities and Limitations

Fußabdrücke im Sand
© Alexander Ozerov /

International Conference in Berlin on 2 and 3 April 2019 hosted by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the German Environment Agency; endorsed by UN World Tourism Organization

What is the status quo of measuring sustainability in German tourism in comparison to other countries? How can data be prepared for use in practice and in politics? What are the key future drivers for sustainable or non-sustainable tourism development and how can they be reflected by the data? These and other questions were discussed and answered at the conference in Berlin on 2 and 3 April 2019. 

The conference program presented current efforts to quantify sustainability in German tourism and put them in an international context. In addition to lectures by international and national experts, the conference also left room for discussion and exchange in panels and workshops. The conference addressed a broad circle of international and national experts from science, practice, politics and administration. Since the program not only addressed statistical experts, the focus of the presentations were more implementation-oriented in terms of tourism policy and less technical. 

The conference was part of a current research project "Further development of sustainable tourism“, which deals in particular with the measurement of the sustainability of German tourism. The project is recognized as a pilot study of the UN World Tourism Organization within the global initiative "Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST)".

The research project "Enhancement of sustainable tourism: Determining the share of sustainable tourism in value generation in Germany and strengthening cooperation with and between important stakeholders" is carried out of on behalf of the German Environment Agency (UBA) with financial support from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The research project has focused on developing a concept and a method to collect empiric information about sustainability in tourism in terms of an extended Tourism Satellite Account. On this basis, comprehensive nationwide data will be collected in order to evaluate the sustainability of German tourism.

The event was endorsed by the UN World Tourism Organization and organised by BTE Tourism and Regional Planning. The research project is realized by University of Sustainable Development Eberswalde, BTE Tourism and Regional Planning, DIW Econ, dwif-Consulting and adelphi.

A conference report will soon be available here.

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