Indonesia has joined the UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) with the opening of three sustainable tourism observatories, as announced at the PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Jakarta, which position Indonesia as a regional hub for sustainable tourism practices.
The observatories, located in the regions of Sesaot, Senggigi Lombok Barat, Pangandaran and Sleman, will be hosted by the Bandung Institute of Technology, Gadjah Mada University and the Mataram University. The newly created bodies will monitor and ensure sustainable practices of the tourism sector in these regions. They will be looking for examples of evidence-based decision making and timely measurement and management of resources and activities, each indispensable factors of sustainable tourism development.
Together with the opening of the three observatories, Indonesia has endorsed 20 regions to test pilot sustainable tourism projects and chosen ten priority destinations for the projects. “The more we preserve, the more prosperous we become,” said Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism of Indonesia. “These observatories will contribute to Indonesia’s sustainable practices in other fields,” he added.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai welcomed Indonesia’s strong commitment to sustainable tourism: “Institutional support is essential to ensure the sustainable development of the tourism sector and Indonesia is exemplary in coordinating all stakeholders to make these observatories a reality.”
The establishment of the three observatories in Indonesia is timely, coming only a few months before the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is launched in January 2017. During the celebrations the observatories will be prominently featured as crucial elements for ensuring the sustainable development of the tourism sector.
INSTO provides a framework for the regular gathering, analysis and communication of information on tourism’s environmental, social and economic impacts in destinations. Currently, the Network includes a total of 14 observatories (eight in China, three in Indonesia, one in Greece, one in Mexico and one in Brazil).