Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism


All around the world, mountain tourism is driven by the human desire to experience nature in unique settings. In turn, tourism has proven to be a lifeline for many communities in mountain regions, and it can play a leading role in sustaining systems that contribute to protecting these fragile ecosystems. When the COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns, mountains became an attractive option for travelers looking for less crowded destinations and open-air experiences. Now, as international travel returns, we have an opportunity to rethink mountain tourism, its impact on natural resources and livelihoods, and how to better manage it.

This study, jointly developed by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), addresses the current lack of relevant data for measuring the volume of visitors to mountains, which is hindering the development of adequate sustainable mountain tourism policies. The study addresses this issue by developing a methodology to measure tourism in mountain areas globally. It also provides an updated figure of international tourism in mountains in 2019, identifies trends and provides a set of recommendations to advance the measurement of mountain tourism.

This study is a follow-up to the 2021 joint UNWTO/FAO publication Mountain Tourism – Towards a More Sustainable Path.

Cite this content as:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Tourism Organization (2023), Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism, FAO/UNWTO, Rome/Madrid, DOI:

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Publisher FAO, UNWTO
Publication year 2023
Language English

Themes: Sustainable tourism

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