Launch of the National Tourism Satellite Account
The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which provides a foundation for the country to move further towards resilience and economic diversification, was recently launched on May 19 in Windhoek, according to a recent publication by UN Namibia.
The development of this TSA is anchored in strategic objective number two (2) of the National Strategy on the sustainable development of heritage tourism and job creation opportunities at the community level (202-2030), within the framework of the activity “Revise and strengthen tourism data and statistics”. ”
The project was led by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Tourism (MEFT), with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and UN Namibia.
According to the publication, in her opening remarks, Heather Sibungo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) said that the TSA aims to compile and present information on the participation of the tourism sector. in the national economy.
She noted that tourism, by contributing directly or indirectly to a substantial share of gross domestic product (GDP) and being one of the main sources of foreign currency, plays a major role in the economy.
Sibungo commended the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for responding positively to Namibia’s request and making available financial resources and technical expertise contracts to carry out this important National program.
Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) in Namibia, Sen Pang, said in his remarks that the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of various sectors to maintain statistics to develop a effective recovery plan and to administer economic recovery plans.
He noted: “It is indisputable that the economic fallout from the closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the tourism sector; the industry lost an estimated N$3.2 billion or $220 million due to the severe disruption.
Pang was particularly encouraged to note that after the success of the partnership with UNESCO and UNDP, the Namibian government has taken a further step by partnering with ECA in strengthening data collection and reporting systems on tourism.
Pang observed that the TSA is relevant for the Namibian tourism sector as it works towards a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for other economic sectors through the ripple effects generated.
Alex Shimuafeni, General Statistician and CEO of the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA), said tourism statistics are needed to design marketing strategies, strengthen inter-institutional relationships, assess the efficiency and effectiveness of tourism decisions managing and measuring tourism across the national economy.
“It is crucial for Namibia to develop a TSA that will provide us with the answer on the contribution of tourism to the economy, and I am pleased that the NSA and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Tourism are working towards realizing it. of this step,” said Shimuafeni.
Speaking at the same event, Namibia Tourism Board CEO Digu Naobeb noted that the TSA is complex in its structure and dimensions; thus, it requires the contribution and involvement of multiple stakeholders.
“This approach has worked and paid off. We hope that we will continue to involve a multidisciplinary approach,” he added.
Olayinka Bandele, Head of Inclusive Industrialization at the ECA Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa, said she was delighted that ECA is joining as a partner to support the MEFT in achieving the TSA. Noting ECA’s wealth of experience in supporting similar CST capacity building projects in East Africa, she pointed out that Namibian participants can now learn best practices, as well as advise on challenges that arise. are posed in the other countries, as specialists from Kenya, Zanzibar and Uganda are participating in the capacity building workshop which will take place next week.
Meanwhile, ECA Tourism Consultant, Prof. Pius O. Odunga, in his presentation said that the TSA would increase and improve the knowledge of the importance of tourism regarding the overall economic activity in a given country; develop quantitative estimates of the added value of tourism and thus analyze the importance of tourism for one economy among others.
“Overall, the TSA provides the basis for applying tourism multipliers and other models to measure the secondary and tertiary impacts of tourism spending on the broader economy,” he added.
In her closing remarks and vote of thanks, the Deputy Director of MEFT, Mrs. Seimy Shidute, implored all tourism stakeholders, especially the private sector, to fully provide the data required for the development of TSA to the National Tourism Committee. CST.
The official launch of the Namibian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) project took place in Windhoek. Photo: © CEA