The Yukon designated an official sustainable tourism observatory by United Nations World Tourism Organization

The Government of Yukon is pleased to announce its membership in the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO). The Yukon is the second Canadian INSTO member, and the first north of 60.

Founded in 2004, INSTO includes 31 destinations around the world committed to improving sustainability in the tourism sector by identifying, measuring and interpreting environmental and socio-economic conditions to guide evidence-based decision making. INSTO also connects these dedicated destinations by helping them exchange knowledge and findings.

The Yukon’s acceptance into the network is based on the strength of its new Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework, its demonstrated capacities in sustainable destination management and the commitment to engage with the local tourism sector and other partners.

The framework identifies 17 key elements of tourism to be monitored annually. They include:  


  • climate action;
  • infrastructure;
  • management of water, energy and waste;
  • cultural sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity, equity and diversity;
  • resident and visitor sentiment;
  • employment; and
  • public health and safety.


Endorsed by Canada’s national tourism authority, Destination Canada, as well as numerous Yukon-based tourism organizations, the framework was designed to complement the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy as well as the Our Clean Future Strategy.

We are proud to join this international network of sustainable tourism observatories as Canada’s first member north of 60. The Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework will create a more sustainable tourism sector in the territory by bringing together local operators and businesses to better understand and mitigate the impacts that tourism has on our environment. I look forward to continuing to work with the Yukon’s tourism industry to ensure they can offer visitors and Yukoners valuable experiences while best protecting our territory for future generations.  

Minister of Tourism and Culture Ranj Pillai

It is great to be recognized internationally for the Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework and our plan to reduce the carbon footprint that the tourism industry has on our territory. Through the Our Clean Future Strategy, the Yukon's Sustainable Tourism Framework aligns us with global best practices and promotes a balance between economic, social and environmental interests.

Minister of Environment Nils Clarke

We warmly welcome the Yukon into our growing global network of observatories. The Observatory can help Yukon to better manage its tourism sector, recovering and growing back more sustainably for the benefit of visitors and residents alike.

United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili

The Yukon's tourism industry has long been a passionate leader for responsible tourism. Its commitment to these principles has guided discussions, shaped Yukon policy and has been recognized locally, nationally and globally for many years. The acceptance of the Yukon into this international network is another progressive step for the territory and enhances the Yukon's voice on this important topic.

Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon Chair Neil Hartling

Yukon First Nations Culture & Tourism Association (YFNCT) is thrilled to learn that the Yukon is now recognized as a sustainable tourism observatory through INSTO. The adoption of this framework is an exciting opportunity for collaboration and coordination between the tourism industry and Yukon communities to ensure that cultural and environmental sustainability are at the forefront of Yukon’s tourism development. For Yukon First Nations, it is vital that we all work together - Yukoners and visitors - to ensure the health and sustainability of the environment, communities and culture. YFNCT looks forward to working with these partners to ensure the interconnectedness between environmental and cultural sustainability is strongly integrated into the framework.

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association Executive Director Charlene Alexander

Quick facts 
  • The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories is a network of 31 tourism destinations across the globe committed to monitoring the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism in their locales. For more information visit 

  • The Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework measures annual conditions across 17 key elements of tourism. 11 must be measured by International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories members and six are specific to the Yukon region. For more information on the Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework visit:

  • The Yukon Sustainable Tourism Framework is endorsed by the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon, the Klondike Visitors Association, the Wilderness Tourism Association of Yukon, the Yukon Historical and Museums Association, the Yukon Tourism Advisory Board and Sport Yukon.

Media contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications


Cameron Webber
Communications, Tourism and Culture

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