Coastal and marine tourism is a vital part of a country’s economy. This goal measures participation in sustainable tourism to coastal regions.


This year’s analysis provided insight into the pandemic’s impact on global tourism.

This year, the data we used to for tourism sustainability was from the from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI). Sustainabiliy was based on three pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Socio-economic Resilience and Conditions, and Travel and Tourism Demand Pressure and Impact. Scores generally increased among assessment regions from 2019 to 2021.

The other component of this goal is the proportion of international tourist arrivals to all arrivals, derived from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Unsurprisingly, the pandemic resulted in a large decrease in tourism arrivals from 2019 to 2020. During this period, tourism arrivals decreased in nearly every single region for which data were available, but island nations were the hardest hit. The three largest decreases over the entire OHI timespan (2012-2023) occurred in the Soloman Islands (-89), Thailand (-85), and Tonga (-85). Fortunately tourism rebounded, albeit less dramatic, the following year — presumably as a result of vaccine roll outs and general border re-openings.

In general, the countries with the lowest scores have unsafe or unappealing conditions owing to poverty, political turmoil, war or other volatile conditions and their scores will likely be depressed until those fundamental conditions improve. Once these conditions are resolved, improvements to Tourism and Recreation can occur rapidly.

Learn more about this goal