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MAINTAINING THE ATTRACTION OF COASTAL DESTINATIONS

Coastal and marine tourism is a vital part of a country’s economy. This goal measures the proportion of the total labor force engaged in the coastal tourism and travel sector, factoring in unemployment and sustainability.

Goal Score

49 The goal score for Goal: Tourism and Recreation is 49 out of 100. The global average score is 71 out of 100.

Likely Future State

+5%

It is estimated that in the near future the score for Goal: Tourism and Recreation will improve roughly +5%.
49
0
25
50
75
90
100
global score

What Does This Score Mean?

The Tourism & Recreation goal aims to capture the experience people have visiting coastal and marine areas and attractions. Coastal tourism industries can be important to coastal economies, but this goal aims to assess participation in coastal tourism separately from the economic measures that are reported in the Coastal Livelihoods & Economies goal.

It is difficult to measure the actual number of people directly participating in tourism. As a result, the Index uses the amount of employment in the tourism sector as a proxy for the number of people actually taking part in coastal tourism, assuming that the number of hotel employees, travel agents and workers in related professions increases or decreases relative to the number of tourists.

The reference point for Tourism and Recreation measures the proportion of the total labor force engaged in this sector in each country, factoring in unemployment and sustainability. Regions were rank-ordered on the basis of that proportion and all regions above the 90th percentile—where tourism and recreation employment happened to make up 9.5% of the total labor force—were given a score of 100. This method is a change from that used in 2012 and is explained further in Methods.

Current Score
The current score would be an underestimate if data on employment in the travel and tourism sector do not capture all such workers. However, low scores for many regions where tourism is unsafe or unappealing owing to poverty, political turmoil, war or other volatile conditions depress the global score and will likely do so until those fundamental conditions improve.

Why Is Tourism and Recreation Important?

Tourism is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world, with coastal and marine tourism being one of its most important sectors and a major component of thriving coastal communities. 

The Tourism & Recreation goal measures how successfully a region’s marine and coastal areas maintain their attractiveness as destinations for people to experience and enjoy priced activities, such as paid boat excursions, visits to coastal parks with entrance fees and ocean-view hotels, as well as unpriced activities such as free days at the beach and hikes on public trails.  

Most regions do not publish data on participation in those activities, so this goal uses data from the World Travel & Tourism Council to measure employment that is directly linked to the travel and tourism sectors, such as hotels, airlines, airports, travel agents, and leisure and recreation that deal directly with tourists, making the assumption that changes in such employment reflect increases or decreases in tourism.  Unemployment and sustainability (using data from the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index as an indicator) are factored in to the score.

This goal does not evaluate the jobs, wages, and economies associated with tourism and recreation, as they are covered in the Coastal Livelihoods & Economies goal. 

more information