Windhoek, Namibia, 8 February 2024 (ECA) – Namibia has launched its Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) report in an effort to boost investment in the lucrative travel sector which contributes 6.9 percent to the country’s GDP.
The (TSA) report measures the direct economic contribution of tourism to Namibia’s economy. The TSA) 6th Edition Report 2022 indicates that during 2022, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP is about N$14.3 billion of the total GDP of N$206.2 billion.
TheMinistry of Forestry, Environment and Tourism(MEFT) in conjunction with the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) developed the TSA report with the financial and technical support from United Nations Economic for Africa (UNECA). The ECA delivered the capacity building workshops for the National TSA Steering Committee and training for relevant stakeholders.
The Namibian TSA is based on the framework developed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and its implementation is anchored under Strategic Intervention 4 of Namibia's Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (2022-2024), which aims to “increase tourism market intelligence through statistics and data collection." The report captures comprehensive statistics for informed decision-making and strategic planning for the tourism sector.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Namibia's Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, highlighted that tourism is more than travel and leisure, but an economic driver for the country. Tourism generates jobs, foreign currency earnings, skills development, and overall economic and social development.
The development of Namibia’s TSA framework provides integrated, comprehensive data on tourism-related activities, expenditures, and employment.
“This accounting framework allows us to gain a holistic understanding of the sector’s contributions to our economy but will also among others increase and improve knowledge of tourism's importance in relation to overall economic activity in a given country,” said Mr. Shifeta.
The TSA also enhances transparency by providing clear insights into the economic flows associated with tourism which Mr. Shifeta said would instil investor confidence by demonstrating the tangible value of tourism as a driver of economic growth.
Ms. Olayinka Bandele, Chief of Inclusive Industrialization in ECA Sub-Regional Office Southern Africa, in remarks on behalf of Ms. Eunice Kamwendo, Director of the ECA Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa, emphasised the critical importance of the tourism sector to the development and growth of Namibia.
Ms. Bandele observed that within the framework of sustainable development, any viable mechanism centred on tourism must embrace the global agenda of the SDGs and centre on sustainability and contribute to mitigating the impact of climate change.
“To this end, an emerging but critical aspect of tourism particularly of considerable potential importance to Namibia’s economy is that of Geo-tourism, defined as sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing a nation’s tourism sights in a way that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, and is therefore locally beneficial to the majority of the populace” Ms. Bandele said.
She observed that in aligning Namibia’s tourism sector with the AfCFTA, the sector provides the best possibility for speedy trade of tourism services as it accounts for most AfCFTA States Parties’ trade in services.
On her part,, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Namibia, Ms. Hopolang Phororo observed that the TSA’s launch theme, “Estimating tourism’s contribution to the economy of Namibia” could not have come at a better time than now. Many African nations are striving to diversify sectors and grow their economies from extractive and environmentally hazardous production, to value-oriented sectors such as tourism which offer remarkable potential.
Ms. Phororo said the UN was ready to support the country’s initiatives such as the TSA to re-orient the capacity of tourism and integrate its contribution as a major component to livelihood and economic gains in Namibia.
The Resident Coordinator emphasised that the launch of the TSA will provide an indispensable element in Namibia’s information system and thus serve the economy and public with data about the economic contribution of the sector.
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Mr. Bedson Nyoni
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Economic Commission for Africa
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