Subnational measurement of tourism | in2destination

Working Group of Experts on Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism – UNWTO

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Within the framework of the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) launched by UNWTO in 2017 and with the support of United Nations Statistics Division, the second meeting of the working group of experts on measuring the sustainability of tourism took place at UNWTO Headquarters (Madrid) on 24 and 25 October 2018.

Dr. Nagore Espinosa, in her double role as CEO of in2destination and INRouTe network expert and coordinator, is part of this group of experts whose aim is to develop an international statistical framework for measuring tourism’s role in sustainable development, including economic, environmental and social dimensions. In fact, measuring sustainable tourism naturally cuts across a range of disciplines and agencies. In advancing the MST statistical framework, an open Working Group of experts was established in order to lead the technical development and support engagement among these key stakeholders.

In this second meeting, numerous issues were addressed, such as employment, including the concept of Green Jobs and the implementation of its measurement, the linking of ecosystem accounting and the economic-environmental accounting system to measure the sustainability of tourism, measurement of social sustainability from the perspective of the residents, and of course the challenge of the different scales when measuring the sustainability of tourism: national, regional, local. The topics were treated based on experiences of regions or countries that are implementing it and share their knowledge as the Philippines, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Argentina, among others.

After this meeting in which many topics were touched, now it’s time to review the advanced documentation again and make contributions from our respective areas of knowledge. From in2destination, it is particularly important to advance at the spatial scales, as well as in the social, territorial and governance measurement of sustainability. In our experience, if the governance dimension is weakened, the rest of the sustainability dimensions are affected. Achieving a common measurement framework for the sustainability of tourism is critical for tourism destinations and businesses in all parts of the world, to measure constantly and have early warning indicators of issues that are brewing and take preventive measures or redirect issues before they worsen.

There is still room for progress, but we are happy to be part of this group of experts, to continue to investigate and contribute.

Here you can expand information on the documentation that was used in the meeting.

Let’s keep measuring and making decisions based on data!!!

Press briefing of Alfredo Retortillo, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Consumption of the Basque Government (Spain)

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Bilbao, June 28th 2017. The research project “Carrying Capacity of Euskadi tourism destinations”, prepared by the research team of the Tourism Department of the University of Deusto, together with the in2destination team led by our CEO Nagore Espinosa, was presented at a press conference by Alfredo Retortillo, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Consumption of the Basque Government. The minister stressed the importance of sustainability within our destination, the high value of this study as a first picture of  the current situation in Euskadi.

The study was carried out during 2016 on six Basque municipalities: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Laguardia, Donostia-San Sebastián, Zarautz, Bilbao and Gernika-Lumo. The methodology of the study focuses in five dimensions: governance, territory, economy, social and environmental, which are addressed through secondary sources and primary sources: interviews with neighbourhood associations, mayors, destination managers, environmental managers, etc. , and surveys to citizens and visitors.

Asunción Fernández Villarán Ara, Director of the Department of Tourism of Deusto University stressed the importance of the collaboration between the UD, in2destination and the Basque Government to undertake this study and the experience the university has in its more than 50 years training professionals of the sector.

Nagore Espinosa, reporting on the results of the study, said:

  • The main type of accommodation chosen by tourists in Euskadi is the hotel, followed by pensions and campings. Apartments are chosen by 14% of tourists.
  • The importance of measuring excursionists for a sustainable management.  Smaller municipalities, with less accommodation supply host a higher amount of excursionists. Province capitals have a more balanced level of tourists and excursionists.
  • 35% of tourists staying in Bilbao explore beyond the city, especially the Bizkaia Bridge, San Juan de Gaztelugatze, Urdaibai and Donosti. In addition, within the city tourists visit Artxanda 10%, 30% visit the Guggenheim (inside), 46% explore the Old Town and 29% the commercial area.
  • In Donostia, 28.7% explore outside of Donosti: mainly Zarautz, Getaria, Biarritz, Hondarribia, Bilbao for an average of four hours. Of those who stay in Donosti, 57% go to the Old Town, 53% spend time in the commercial area, 14% go up to Igeldo.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz, 38% choose to go outside of the city visit, especially Bilbao, Santander, Laguardia, Ullibarri and Donosti, using an average of 8 hours outside Gasteiz. Within Vitoria a clear focus is the historical center 59%, 67% visit the commercial streets of Dato and surroundings and 8.3% visit the green ring of Sailburua

In order to conduct part of this study we have used a solution developed by in2destination called in2GISflow, thanks to which we obtain heatmaps such as the ones below:

VI UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics

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Dr. Nagore Espinosa, CEO of in2destination and Coordinator of INRouTe – International Network on Regional Economics Mobility and Tourism on June 22nd at the VI UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics organized by UNWTO in Manila (Philippines) presented the document “Tourism, territory and sustainability at subnational levels: fostering credibility for its measurement and supporting key stakeholders” prepared by INRouTe.
This conference again makes the Philippines a historic destination in the measurement of tourism. Already in 2008 in Cebu, the committee of parliamentarians asked the UNWTO to advance in the matter of sub-national measurement and in 2017 in this sixth conference Manila goes down in history as the witness of:

  • UNWTO presenting the progress made towards the measuring sustainable tourism framework (MST)
  • UNWTO announced that the framework will be developed not only for the national level but also for the subnational – historic moment – which has the support of the United Nations Statistics Unit, the largest guarantee that exists worldwide.
  • INRouTe presented the document: “Tourism, territory and sustainability at subnational levels: fostering credibility for its measurement and supporting key stakeholders”. This publication is the result of almost 8 years of work by the network team and means a breakthrough towards clarifying the steps to take in the measurement at the subnational level.
  • Many representatives of the administration and management of destinations demonstrated an interest in the MST framework and emphasized the need to strengthen positions and improve communication between the statistical institutes and the administration to improve the implementation of this framework and the systems of tourist statistics.
  • It was important not only to have information that speaks of the past but also to have information that predicts trends.
  • In this line, on the sustainability challenges faced by destinations, emphasis was placed on the consensus of early warning indicators for the three dimensions: social, environmental and economic.
  • almost 1000 people attended the event, record figures for an event of this nature.

We are aware of the importance of rigorous measurement in the tourism sector, of the complexity of measuring at subnational levels and of the desire of the sector and destination managers to make this measurement framework at the subnational level a reality and in that we have worked at In2destination and from our role in INRouTe. We invite you to know more about INRouTe.

Apartments, shared & private rooms, Do we know quantity, characteristics and occupancy in our destinations?

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Thanks to our own technological solutions in2apartments and in2pricing, we analyse the amount, characteristics, availability and price dynamics, among other variables, of the accommodation supply, including apartments. We collect this information daily and are able to offer this information 30 or 45 days in advance, its daily evolution, weekdays, weekend, etc.

In the following infographic we reflect a selection of the variables that we studied for three tourism destinations of reference in Europe, in this case the cities of Barcelona, London and Venice.

In the case of Barcelona, of the total number of accommodation properties in the city of Barcelona, 50.1% are entire houses or apartments and 48.9% are private rooms, 1% offer in shared rooms. If we disaggregate London, we find a very similar reality, with a supply of whole houses of 51.3%, 47.4% of private rooms and only 1.3% of shared rooms. The case of Venice shows a somewhat different reality, since 80% of the accommodation offer published in Airbnb is in whole houses or apartments, 19% in private rooms and 1% in shared rooms. Thus, among other conclusions, we can see that there are destinations that are home to two different types of visitors: those who do not mind sharing the apartment and those who want the privacy offered by an entire apartment

On the other hand, data not only allow us to know the characteristics of the offer, but also shed light on the behaviour of demand with medium- and long-term forecasts. Select, for example, the cities of Madrid and Barcelona to show the current availability of tourist homes for this summer. In the following graphs we can see that while in the case of Barcelona, more than 50% of the total of the supply has already been closed, in Madrid still almost 70% of the offer remains available for the months of the summer high season (July and August).

in2destination team we understand that this data responds to questions that the destinations and agents of the sector face. We were born with the intention to accompany the agents of the sector to construct and to transform destinations and tourist resources into SMART – SUSTAINABLE – INCLUSIVE. Interesting? We are always open to new challenges

MOVE2017 Save the Date!

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The Government of Navarra is organizing MOVE2017 International Conference in collaboration with the UNWTO, the UN specialized agency in Tourism. This is the fifth edition of the Conference on Sub-National Measurement and Economic Analysis of Tourism, created by the International Network INRouTe in collaboration with in2destination research and consultancy firm. MOVE2017 takes place every two years: 2009 in San Sebastián, MOVE2011 Bilbao, MOVE2013 Medellin, MOVE2015 Puerto Rico and now in beautiful and culturally enriching Pamplona.

MOVE2017 will be hosted in Pamplona (Navarra, Spain) from 22-24 November 2017:

– The first two days (November 22 and 23) will circle around a set of topics central to INRouTe work and Navarra’s interests: smart and sustainable urban and rural tourism thought successful case studies

– The last day (November 24th) will address topics defined by UNWTO with the consensus of the Government of Navarra including UNWTO Tourism Observatories initiative (INSTO).

We hope to see you in Pamplona!

INRouTe latest publication presented at UNWTO Committee on Statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account, January 2017

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INRouTe the International Network on Regional Economics Mobility and Tourism, which focuses on advancing towards guidelines on measuring tourism at the subnational level, has been working during more than seven years now, and during the past four years has been developing the publication on its version 1: Tourism, territory and sustainability: a statistical insight at subnational levels: towards a Set of UNWTO Guidelines.  The annexes of the present document can be accessed here

This document is the result of the UNWTO/INRouTe Agreement signed in July 2011. Although old version parts of the present document have been circulated in different occasions along the last three years, on January 24th 2017 it was presented and well received at the 17th UNWTO Committee on Statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account.

This publication is undergoing a Global Discussion launched by UNWTO.

in2destination team as experts contributing to the document, and as coordinators and technical secretariat of INRouTe, we are very much interested in your comments and suggestions on this first statistical insight of tourism at sub-national levels which is based on the two UNWTO international statistical standards on tourism statistics, namely:

– the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 (IRTS 2008) and

– the Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 (TSA:RMF 2008),

as well as the UNWTO International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 Compilation Guide.

If you might find this document of potential interest to other colleagues, please share it with them; if that would be the case we want to thank you in advance for your collaboration.

If you find too time-consuming reading the document from A to Z, we would like to provide some suggestions on how to read the document:

Please see the Subject Index  and look if you find those items that you are mainly interested in.

The Overview chapter has been drafted in order to have a basic understanding about the content and scope of the document (you will find basic recommendations in some of the paragraphs (for instance in 0.1 / 0.15 / 0.25 / 0.28 and o.29 / 0.41 to 0.45)

If you are particularly interested in the conceptual framework used, see paragraphs 0.13 / 0.16 and 0.17 /0.46 to 0.51 / 1.28 / 3.13 to 3.18 / 5.43 to 5.46

We will be most grateful if you could send your comments and suggestions to UNWTO at jgarcia@unwto.org by February 28, 2017 in order to prepare the revised document.

UNWTO & INRouTe Workshop Subnational Tourism Measurement

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in2destination team organised on November 22nd 2016 the UNWTO & INRouTe workshop Subnational Tourism Measurement, hosted in Venice, Italy, by CISET. We had the opportunity to count with Eurostat and OECD, who organised the 14th Global Forum on Tourism Statistics that same week in Venice.

As the workshop agenda shows, this workshop marked the first occasion prior to a Global discussion to comment on the document recently submitted by INRouTe to UNWTO titled:“TOURISM, TERRITORY AND SUSTAINABILITY: A STATISTICAL INSIGHT AT SUBNATIONAL LEVELS – Toward a Set of UNWTO Guidelines” and its annexes.

Several INRouTe member, among them Nagore Espinosa, have significantly contributed as authors to the document led by Antonio Massieu, INRouTe´s chair. The deadline to submit comments is February 27th 2017, we would be happy to count with your feedback.

Nagore Espinosa on a UNWTO mission to Myanmar

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Myanmar is undergoing numerous changes in all fronts since its recent democratic elections. Its economy is opening up, including welcoming foreign visitors, not only to Bagan,Yangon and Mandalay, but to many other unique and unspoiled regions of the country. Myanmar citizens hold high hopes for their country under the new government and leadership of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Part of the work of the new Myanmar Government has been related to Tourism. The International Trade Center is undergoing a project named NTF III Myanmar – Inclusive Tourism Focussing on Kayah State and UNWTO is collaborating by assessing the Tourism Statistics System at the National level and at Kayah State level. For this assessment UNWTO has relied on Dr. Espinosa as UNWTO expert on Tourism Statistics,

As part of the project there was a UNWTO mission to Myanmar including two workshops led by Dr. Espinosa in Nay Pyi Taw and in Loikaw to raise the awareness on the relevance of measuring tourism under international standards. The contribution of  the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Ministry of Commerce has been critical for the success of the project and mission and in2destination team would like to extend its deep gratitude.


GISflow by in2destination

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GISflow_ManhattanGISFLOW_coverOne of the tourism sector’s greatest challenges is being able to know the distribution of the tourism activity in the territory. in2destination has developed a system and a methodology named GISflow, which allows matching profile data, including per day expenditure, with mobility patters in the territory. The following images showcase tests conducted by in2destination in Old San Juan (Puerto Rico) and the City of New York in November 2015 and May 2016 respectively. This methodology allows zooming up to street level and analyze streets, areas, neighbourhoods visited most by clusters of visitor profiles, as well as studying whether certain profiles explore beyond the municipality where they are overnighting. This facilitates studying whether those assumed as core destinations are benefiting neighbouring territory as part of the county, province or island. 

INRouTe milestone & Save the Date Nov 22nd Venice

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Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 6.19.59 PMIt is with great pleasure that we inform you that February 18th 2016 Antonio Massieu, Chair of INRouTe and Dr. Nagore Espinosa, in2destination CoFounder and INRouTe technical secretariat submitted to the UNWTO the final version of the document tentatively entitled
In compliance with the UNWTO and INRouTe agreement, this document is now property of UNWTO, so you will be able to have access to it late this summer when UNWTO will launch a Worldwide consultation seeking comments.
We are sincerely thankful to those of you that have contributed with your knowledge and time over these past years.
Finally, we would like to ask you to please save the afternoon of November 22nd 2016 for a UNWTO & INRouTe workshop:  Subnational Tourism Measurement feedback gathering prior to Worldwide Consultation which will mark the first possible occasion prior to a Worldwide Consultation to comment on the previously mentioned document. This UNWTO & INRouTe event will be organised by in2destination, hosted by CISET – Università CaFoscari in Venice (Italy), right before the OECD & EUROSTAT Global Forum on Tourism Statistics.
In order to register for free for this event please click here
Looking forward to seeing you in Venice!