The UNWTO report regarding mountain tourism accounts for between 9% and 16% of international tourist arrivals worldwide, meaning 195-375 million tourists in 2019.
However, the scarcity of data on mountain tourism makes it difficult or even impossible to evaluate the economic, social, and environmental impacts of this important travel segment.
The mountains host around 1 billion people. At the same time, the mountains have a long history of attracting tourists who are interested in nature and outdoor destinations and activities like walking, climbing and winter sports. They also fascinate visitors with their rich biodiversity and vibrant local cultures. However, in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the 10 most mountainous countries (in terms of average height above sea level) received only 8% of the world’s international tourist arrivals.
Sustainably handled, mountain tourism can improve the incomes of local communities and help preserve their natural resources and culture. Moreover, according to UNWTO, measuring the visitors’ volume to the mountains represents the first essential step in unlocking the potential of this sector. With the right data experts can control better the visitor flows with understanding visitors’ patterns, plan better, and offer more sustainable travel services in line with current and future consumers’ demand.