Tourism Trends and Policies 2020

OECD releases important new industry reports

A keynote panel at ITB was set to tackle “Re-thinking Tourism Success: Managing Destinations for Sustainable Growth”, with the release of a new OECD report entitled “Tourism Trends and Policies 2020” .
In the absence of the keynote, we asked Alain Dupeyras, Head of Regional Development and Tourism Division, OECD to give us some details about the report. 

The 2020 edition of OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2020 analyses tourism performance and policy trends across 51 OECD countries and partner economies. It highlights the need for coherent and comprehensive approaches to tourism policy making, and the significance of the tourism economy, with data covering domestic, inbound and outbound tourism, enterprises and employment, and internal tourism consumption.

The chapter on “Rethinking tourism success for sustainable growth” explores the economic, social and environmental benefits and costs associated with tourism growth, and the need for policy makers and industry to better understand the potential implications for destinations striving to achieve more sustainable tourism growth. The analysis highlights that for many countries, regions and destinations, tourism growth remains economically, socially and environmentally unbalanced, often as a result of rapid and unplanned growth in visitor numbers.

A selection of key policy considerations are highlighted to help both established and new destinations to strike a balance between the benefits and costs associated with tourism development and implement a sustainable vision for the future.

For many destinations, tourism remains unbalanced, and as a result, policy makers need to work with industry and communities to strike a balance between the benefits and costs associated with tourism development and implement a long-term and sustainable vision for the future.

Do you have any examples of best practices?
The report is a rich source of country examples and best practices. In terms of sustainability, the examples below are some of the most recent and innovative initiatives introduced in OECD countries:

  1. Mainstreaming sustainability. Built upon extensive stakeholder consultation, Plan T – Master Plan for Tourism defines sustainability in all its facets as the overarching guiding principle for tourism in Austria. While Perspective 2030 provides a new vision of Destination Holland with the ambition that by 2030, every Dutch citizen will benefit from tourism. In order to build a loved, valuable and liveable destination.
  1. Engaging the industry. The Tourism Sustainability Commitment initiative in New Zealand is an industry led initiative established by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, which aims to ensure that every New Zealand tourism business is committed to sustainability by 2025 ( Developed by industry for industry, it has established 8 industry-level sustainability Goals and 14 Commitments.
  2. Designing new tourism strategies. Under Canada’s new tourism strategy, Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, two of the three main pillars have a specific focus on investment to support sustainable growth, with one of the key objectives being to grow international visitation outside of gateway cities and the country’s most iconic tourism destinations, and beyond the summer season.

Photo: Alain Dupeyras, Head of Regional Development and Tourism Division, OECD

The OECD works to deliver benefits to people, places and businesses through tourism

While overall growth trends in this dynamic sector are positive – despite potential short-term impacts due to an uncertain economic outlook and external shocks (such as health scares and extreme weather events) – governments are increasingly developing policies that seek to maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits that tourism can provide.

Governments are currently facing two critical issues in terms of managing the tourism sector: leveraging the benefits of the digital transformation, and the need to implement sustainable tourism policies. Both of these topics are addressed as thematic chapters in the current OECD flagship publications, Tourism Trends and Policies 2020, and Rethinking tourism success for sustainable growth.