The Kanas Lake Nature Reserve in the extreme northwest of China and the city of Chengdu, one of China’s most populous cities, are the locations of two new UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories designed to monitor the environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism.
The Chengdu and Kanas observatories join UNWTO’s network of tourism observatories which gather and report data based on UNWTO’s sustainable tourism indicators and assist policy makers to ensure more sustainable tourism growth.
“UNWTO’s Sustainable Tourism Observatories are providing decision makers with the information they need to make more responsible tourism decisions,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, “The establishment of the Chengdu and Kanas Observatories will allow these destinations to better understand the impact of their many visitors, evaluate the impacts of existing sustainable tourism initiatives, and ensure tourism benefits for both the people and environment of the surrounding areas for years to come.”
The city of Chengdu receives tens of millions of domestic tourists each year and an increasing share of international tourists. These tourists generate over 8% of the city’s GNP and an estimated 600,000 direct jobs. The Kanas Lake Nature Reserve receives close to one million domestic tourists, supporting jobs and income among the local population. UNWTO’s Sustainable Tourism Observatories in China are managed and monitored by a Monitoring Centre at Sun Yet-Sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.