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The OTB joins the WTO’s International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO)

21/01/2022 - 09:45h

The Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona membership of INSTO will allow the systematic monitoring of data at an environmental, economic, and social level

The Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona: city and region has formalised its membership of the WTO’S International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) this week at the tourism fair, FITUR. The INSTO brings together different observatories that monitor data about the sustainability of destinations in the economic, environmental and social spheres.

The secretary-general of the WTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, welcomed the OTB and drew attention to the fact that “as a mature destination, the work of the observatory will give more, and better proof of the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism on the destination. This will make the decision-making process even easier and will guarantee tourism continues to be a tool for sustainable development.”

Barcelona City Council’s councillor for Tourism and Creative Industries, Xavier Marcé, said that belonging to this network of more than 30 associated entities and cities “will make it easier for us to make decisions based on data in order to achieve the objectives of managing the visitor economy within the parameters of sustainability and the local, and neighbouring economy, as well as increasing returns and benefits for the community.”

Eduard Torres, CEO of Turisme de Barcelona, said that the OMT’s membership would be extremely positive insofar as it “strengthens the importance of Barcelona’s international role in the field of knowledge and therefore makes us stronger in those values based on rigour and credibility in tourism matters as well as better equipped to make further progress towards sustainability”.

According to the president of Barcelona Provincial Council, Núria Marín, “the OTB highlights the need to connect the city of Barcelona with the rest of the province of Barcelona under the umbrella concept of Destination Barcelona in order to analyse the more global reality of tourism.”

Created in 2004, the INSTO network allows connecting the destinations involved in monitoring aspects related to the impact of tourism. Their findings are used to foster decision-making in the management of a tourist destination, to promote sustainable tourism practices locally and globally. The objective of the network is to support and foster the improvement of sustainability and resilience of tourism through the study and exchange of analytical data so that the observatories create a network of partners that will benefit visitors and host communities and enable them to build and preserve destinations for future generations.

For the OTB, joining the network highlights its work in the field of sustainability and allows it to share its research methodologies with other international bodies. This brings it into line with one of the core aims of the INSTO: to create a system of sustainable tourism indicators.

The OTB’s membership of the INSTO also raises Barcelona’s profile as a destination committed to sustainability that seeks to address empirically the sustainability of the destination economically, socially, and environmentally, without forgetting the initiative’s connection to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDO).

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