UN Tourism launches digital self-assessment tool for rural destinations

It is open to local authorities interested in measuring their tourism development and getting a tailored recommendation guide to implement a sustainable, inclusive, and smart tourism model for their destinations.

The UN Tourism has launched a self-assessment tool to assist rural destinations, STAR, which allows local public authorities in rural destinations to self-evaluate and measure their level of tourism development. It also provides tailored recommendations, benchmarking different destinations and generating valuable data and insights for Member States to enhance sustainable and inclusive tourism policies. 

“The UN Tourism Self-assessment Tool is a game-changer for rural destinations. It empowers local authorities with a tool that allows them to self-evaluate their policies and actions, providing actionable insights fostering sustainable tourism development, and contributing to the overall growth of rural communities,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UN Tourism.

The tool is available for all rural destinations in UN Tourism Member States.

 It is open to local authorities interested in measuring their tourism development and getting a tailored recommendation guide to implement a sustainable, inclusive, and smart tourism model for their destinations.

STAR, being a part of the work of Tourism for Rural Development by UN Tourism, envisions the sector as a driver of rural development and well-being, valuing and safeguarding rural villages, landscapes, knowledge systems, and cultural diversity. It aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting innovative and transformative approaches to tourism development in rural destinations. 

The key features of STAR include: 

Self-Assessment: Rural destinations can self-evaluate their policies and initiatives through a set of indicators covering five areas – Tourism Governance; Economic, Social, and Cultural Sustainability; Environmental Sustainability; Tourism Development; and Infrastructure. As per UN Tourism, this self-assessment tool enables stakeholders to focus on strategic planning, marketing and promotion, training and education, policymaking, diversification of products and services, infrastructure, environmental and cultural preservation, collaboration with local actors, access to financing, data, or measurement of results, among other aspects.  

Tailored Recommendations: The tool delivers a customised recommendations guide to users with recommendations aligned with UN Tourism standards, considering the unique features of rural destinations. 

Benchmarking Excellence: Supporting local authorities in benchmarking policies and practices, the tool facilitates the evaluation of destinations across various components. 

Data and Insights: Providing a data for Member States, the digital tool enables in-depth analytics on destinations taking the assessment. It sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of local governments in tourism policies, strategies, and interventions, laying the groundwork for enhancements by local, regional, and national authorities in rural areas.