International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories

Sustainable Tourism Development

Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”

Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability.

Reference: Making Tourism More Sustainable – A Guide for Policy Makers, UNEP and UNWTO, 2005, p.11-12

The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism is a network of tourism observatories monitoring the economic, environmental and social impact of tourism at the destination level. The initiative is based on UNWTO’s long-standing commitment to the sustainable and resilient growth of the sector through measurement and monitoring, supporting the evidence-based management of tourism.


INSTO seeks to support and connect destinations that are committed to regular monitoring of economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism, to unlock the power of evidence-based decision making at the destination-level, fostering sustainable tourism practices locally and globally.


Fostering a dynamic network of partners that strives towards creating healthy places for both visitors and the host communities while leaving resilient destinations to future generations.