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Sustainable Tourism Observatory

The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) was created in 2004 with the main objective to support the continuous improvement of sustainability and resilience in the tourism sector through systematic, timely and regular monitoring of tourism performance and impact and to connect dedicated destinations in order to better understand destination-wide resource use and foster the responsible management of tourism.

Through the systematic application of monitoring, evaluation and information management techniques, the initiative provides policy makers, planners, tourism managers and other relevant stakeholders with key tools to strengthen institutional capacities to support the formulation and implementation of sustainable tourism policies, strategies, plans and management processes.


The Blue Community Sustainable Tourism Observatory, Florida, USA

INSTO Member since 2016.
Location: Parts of Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota County, and the cities of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, and Key West, Florida, USA

The Blue Community Observatory is hosted by UCC WHALE Center Inc Blue Community Consortium and monitors the impact of tourism in parts of the Pinellas, Manatee, Orange, Monroe, and Sarasota Counties, and the cities of New Smyrna Beach, and Key West, in Florida, USA.

The observatory is aiming specifically at providing policy makers and tourism managers with the regular gathering, analysis and communication of information related to tourism’s impacts on aspects such as local satisfaction with tourism in the destination; seasonality patterns; energy, waste and water control; food production, clean marinas, education, and policies related to the science of planetary boundaries, among others.

The monitoring area is includes the City of Orlando, the most visited tourist city in the United States attracting close to 70 million visitors per year. The Beach communities in the Observatory and the cities of New Smyrna Beach and Key West are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida due to its unique coastal environment and marine habitat. Together they welcome close to 20 million visitors every year. Continuous monitoring of the tourism impact and performance, across the three dimensions of sustainable development, is therefore a crucial element for sustainable tourism development and evidence-based decisions.

The following are links to some of the reports from the Blue Community.

2018 Report

2017 Report

2016 Report