The Philippines is calling for the adoption of a global framework that would measure sustainability in tourism.
During the 25th United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Uzbekistan, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the Philippines endorses the UNWTO-led Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST).
“This shall establish a common ground among our nations to measure data on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of tourism,” Frasco said during her intervention on the agenda about current tourism trends.
“We rally behind the UNWTO in strongly recommending the adoption by the General Assembly of this Statistical Framework on Measuring Sustainable Tourism,” she added.
Frasco said the UNWTO had previously selected the Philippines as one of the countries for the framework’s pilot implementation.
According to the UNWTO, the data available on tourism is largely focused on the economic dimension.
Through the MST, the UN agency seeks to “expand the scope of tourism statistics into the social and environmental dimensions, while also rethinking the economic measurement of tourism through the lens of sustainability”.
The Philippines joined the UNWTO General Assembly on Oct. 18 as vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, a position the country last held more than two decades ago.
Meanwhile, Frasco promoted the Philippines’ diverse destinations before the global tourism leaders and stakeholders present while underscoring the country’s commitment to sustainable tourism.
“Megabiodiversity is also another dimension unique to the Philippines. Our 7,641 islands being home to two-thirds of the Earth’s biodiversity, with 70 to 80 percent of the world’s plant and animal species found in our islands,” she said.
“In view of the natural bounty and ecological vulnerability of our islands, the Philippines recognizes the primordial importance of adopting a sustainability framework in tourism recovery and development,” she added.
The UNWTO, where the Philippines is a full member, is a specialized UN agency that promotes responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
In June 2024, the Philippines will host the Joint Regional Meetings of the Committee for East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia in Cebu. (PNA)