A recent report published by the World Tourism Organization , showed that mountain tourism accounts for 9 to 16% of international tourist arrivals worldwide. Between 195 and 375 million travelers visited the mountains in 2019.
The report highlights that the mountains are home to about 1.1 billion people, many of whom are among the world's poorest and most isolated people. Mountain tourism can be very beneficial for them in the future.
“Mountains have long attracted tourists who are interested in nature and outdoor activities such as walking, climbing and winter sports. They also attract visitors with their biodiversity and vibrant local culture,” reads a press release accompanying the organization’s report.
In 2019, the ten “most mountainous countries” received just 8% of international tourist arrivals worldwide. These countries include:
Mountain tourism can increase the income of local people and help preserve their natural resources and culture. And measuring the volume of visitors in the mountains, according to the official tourism organizations, represents the first big step towards the development of the sector.
In this regard, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Ku Dunyu and the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization Zurab The Pololikashvilis said that with the right data, the distribution of visitor flows could be better controlled. They also pointed out the need to support and improve adequate planning based on knowledge of tourist behavior.
The World Tourism Organization report calls for coordinated work to raise awareness of the socio-economic importance of mountain tourism and policies aimed at creating workers places and support for small and medium-sized enterprises. The report also aims to attract green investment in infrastructure and the digitalization of tourism services.
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