In an effort to establish and enforce Croatia as a sustainable tourism destination, with sustainability based on clearly defined and measurable indicators, the Institute for Tourism and Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Croatia, established CROSTO – Croatian Sustainable Tourism Observatory – in 2016. CROSTO is part of UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO), which 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.
The Croatian Sustainable Tourism Observatory (CROSTO) was established to support the vision set by Croatia for the future of its tourism sector. Through regular and timely monitoring of sustainable tourism in the Adriatic Croatia, the observatory helps to raise awareness of the possible positive and negative impacts of tourism development in the region. In measuring and monitoring procedures,CROSTO adopts the European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS) for sustainable destination management, which was developed by the European Commission. The ETIS indicators that were used cover all of the mandatory sustainability issues selected by the UNWTO. Along with measuring and monitoring tourism sustainability on a regional level, CROSTO also promotes the application of ETIS among local communities all over Croatia
The practical reasons for monitoring the sustainability of tourist destinations are, above all, better public information as a basis for decisionmaking, effective risk management, prioritization of actions, greater community involvement, and support for stakeholders in tourism. Only by assessing the situation, but also by continuously monitoring the sustainability, the necessary information base is created for the effective management of development in the desired, sustainable direction. The need for sustainability monitoring is particularly important in destinations characterized by a strong dependency on tourism measured by a relatively large proportion of tourism in gross domestic product. This category also includes Croatia as an attractive European destination for summer vacation tourism. Therefore, some of the basic tasks of the CROSTO Observatory are:
- Determining a common methodology for measuring indicators,
- Institutional organization of stakeholders through local working groups and
- Raising public awareness of the importance of measurement.
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