The Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard tracks global progress towards sustainable tourism development.

The Dashboard is designed to complement the many efforts to promote sustainable development. Indicator selection was informed by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other initiatives and programmes. Indicators were mostly derived based on existing data sources, but are presented in a way that provides important and new insights. The following sustainability themes are part of the Dashboard: Poverty Alleviation, Dispersion of Travel, Carbon Emissions, Sustainable Production, Protected Areas, Employment and Gender, and Security.


  • Each data pages provides maps and statistics to illustrate the status of sustainability along core indicators, and reveal trends.
  • Key insights are summarised to highlight the most important findings from the data.
  • Further information material is presented where possible.

Explore the data

For an infographic of the 2016 Dashboard please click here.

For a technical report that details the methodologies and findings for the 2016 Dashboard, please click here.

About the Research Indicators

Poverty Alleviation

The Poverty Alleviation measures compare the share of tourism activity among least developed countries (LDSc) and small island developing states (SIDS) with the global tourism activity. Tourism exports and employment are used as two key indicators. The focus on ‘macro-economic’ impact is just the beginning. The hope is that these indicators provides a baseline for businesses, individuals, communities to measure and demonstrate specific impacts of tourism on poverty reduction.


Dispersion of Travel

Measuring the dispersion of travel activity is vital to understanding the current patterns, trends and gaps of global tourism. Tourist expenditure generated by the Top 10 countries and received by the Top 10 countries, and the proportion this represents of all global international tourism expenditure, are the two measures chosen as a tracking mechanism for ‘dispersion’ versus ‘concentration’. The indicators provide a stepping stone to identifying further strategies for dispersal. Monitoring the top countries also facilitates some learning about key factors that lead to high tourism propensity. These insights can help other countries as well as small tourism businesses to develop their own strategies to (re)invigorate their tourism sector and grow their share of world tourism. Developing tourism sustainably is essential for long-term success and monitoring some of the other indicators related to the SDGs will support this process.

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Carbon Emissions

Tourism is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. One of the key sectors is aviation. Reducing aviation emissions is therefore of critical importance to the whole travel and tourism industry. The Dashboard monitors total emissions from global (domestic and international) passenger travel, and it also provides a breakdown of emissions into world regions. This indicator can be used to highlight travel activity trends resulting in peak emissions periods. The goal of this indicator is to provide insight into growth rates over time and by region, highlighting the need for further improvements (e.g. air traffic management systems) and research to address emission produced by air travel. Aviation emission sit alongside emissions from other sectors (see also Sustainable Production).


Sustainable Production

The efficient use of resources, such as energy, water and materials, is becoming increasingly important. Measuring resource use per unit of service delivery (e.g. a guest night, a sold room, a passenger-kilometre, a helicopter scenic flight) allows operators to track whether they are becoming more efficient or not. The indicators in the Dashboard provide insights into annual improvement rates of environmentally leading hotels. Other businesses can use these as benchmarks for their own resource efficiency monitoring. The indicators also support the United Nations 10 YFP-Sustainable Tourism programme.

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Protected Areas

When well planned, tourism can contribute positively to nature conservation. Tourism in both terrestrial and marine protected areas depends on a healthy environment, and good planning ensures the sustainable use of these natural resources. This indicator focuses on natural and mixed World Heritage Areas and tracks the extent of tourism planning. The indicator raises awareness of the important role of tourism in nature conservation and may catalyse other types of protected areas to engage more proactively in visitor management, biodiversity protection and conservation.


Gender Equity

Tourism offers many opportunities for female employment. The indicators measure the share of female employment, as well as the proportion of female managers. The global trends can be used by countries or businesses to assess their progress, and implement plans to close the gap and break the often referred to glass ceiling.



Tourism is all about peaceful encounters between people and cultures. It has long been recognised as an important element of peace building. At the same time, tourists have become targets of terrorist attacks, and the sustainability of tourism depends on the safety and security of travel. The indicator measures the number of fatalities in terror attacks, and provides an opportunity to compare this type of risk with many other known risks. Trends can be observed and be used to inform international policy and decision making.