UNWTO has announced Tlaxcala’s Sustainable Tourism Observatory as the latest member of its International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO).
UNWTO has identified evidence-based decision making and the participation of local stakeholders as key for the successful development of sustainable tourism at the destination level. The Tlaxcala Secretary of Tourism and its Sustainable Tourism Observatory have shown their commitment to both of these areas, paving the way for them to become part of the expanding global Network.
Looking beyond tourism’s economic impact
Within the INSTO framework, the Observatory will shift from focusing largely on the economic impact of tourism to also measuring tourism’s social and environment impacts. This will help Tlaxcala to manage tourism development in a responsible and sustainable manner, taking a holistic view in developing adequate and innovative strategies for “rethinking” tourism.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “As we rethink tourism and guide the sector towards greater resilience, inclusivity and sustainability, measurement has never been more important. It provides a better understanding of where a destination stands and where it wants to go. The INSTO network is an opportunity to work together to ensure that tourism is a tool that contributes to sustainable development. We are very pleased to welcome Tlaxcala as a new member.”
Tlaxcala’s Tourism Observatory will now monitor the 11 mandatory INSTO key areas, namely: tourism seasonality, employment, economic benefits, energy management, water management, wastewater management, solid waste management, climate action, accessibility, local satisfaction and governance.
Collaboration as key
The State of Tlaxcala is located in the central part of Mexico and is the smallest federal entity in terms of geographical size. Rich in culture and history, with important archaeological sites as well as natural resources, Tlaxcala welcomed 570,000 tourists in 2019, accounting for 8.5% of the State GDP and 5.5% of the State’s employment. In accordance with the Tlaxcala State Tourism Law of 2022, a Tourist Consultative Council was established, composed of private, public and civil sector actors, to provide multi-disciplinary advice to the Ministry of Tourism of Tlaxcala on sustainable tourism development.
This participatory approach is also reflected in the mission statement of the Tourism Observator, “to be an effective instrument for the sustainable tourism development of Tlaxcala through the participation of all the agents linked to tourist activity and the authorities related to it, through having reliable, timely and relevant information that supports decision-making and monitoring of the results of public policies to promote tourism.”
Tlaxcala´s Secretary of Tourism, Ms. Josefina Rodríguez Zamora, noted: “Becoming a member of INSTO allows as us to frame our tourism sustainability efforts according to the 11 key monitoring areas that are mandatory for INSTO members. We are honored to become the third Observatory in Mexico to be part of this network.”