Australia’s South West Tourism Observatory (ASWTO)

Member since


Hosted by

Curtin University
(Tourism Research Cluster)

Monitoring area

Margaret River Region (Phase1) and later all of Australia’s South West Region (Phase2)

ASWTO is the first of its kind in Australia and is hosted by the Tourism Research Cluster of Curtin University, a world-class rated inter-disciplinary and cross-faculty research centre, which is part of Curtin’s School of Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law.



By continuously and systematically monitoring sustainability indicators for the selected monitoring area, the mission of ASWTO is to ensure tourism development in the Australia’s South West will contribute to the attractiveness of the region as a place to live and to visit while limiting the impact on its sensitive natural environment. The observatory is therefore supporting relevant stakeholders through regular research, data analysis and the provision of recommendations for the implementation of sustainable tourism policies, strategies and management processes.

Current Monitoring Processes

The initial work of ASWTO is guided by a framework of 20 region-specific indicators in 11 areas, covering eight of the nine themes suggested by the UNWTO. This will be used as starting point for the regular monitoring of tourism impacts in the monitoring area(s) and will be achieved through e.g. the implementation of different surveys, including resident, visitor, visitor movement, industry and tour operator surveys. Insights resulting from these surveys will be complemented by additional data available from other sources and will be extended over time.


  • Tourism Seasonality
  • Employment
  • Destination Economic Benefits
  • Governance
  • Local Satisfaction with Tourism
  • Energy Management
  • Water Management
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Regional Production Cycles
  • Inclusion and Accessibility
  • Landscape Quality


With 3.2.million visitors (2019), Australia’s South West region is the second most visited tourism region in Western Australia and is an internationally-recognized tourism destination with exceptional natural assets, including remarkable coastlines, superb beaches and forstes, and a diverse marine environment, which is home of more than 4,000 endemic species of plants and 100 endemic species of animals (it is one of only 25 original global hotspots for wildlife and plants).  Therefore, the region’s future health and tourism’s success depend highly on a fragile balance between regional development and the preservation of its unique natural environment.



Australia’s South West Tourism Observatory (ASWTO)

Curtin University – Tourism Research Cluster
Contact Person: Dr. Michael Volgger