Windhoek, Namibia, 15 May 2023 - The second five-day training workshop kicked-off on Monday 15 May 2023 at “The Barn” in Windhoek to strengthen the capacity of key officials to develop the country’s National Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), given its significance for the development of Namibia's tourism sector.
Addressing participants in the opening session Mr. Sebulon Chicalu, Director for Tourism and Gaming in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) recognised the Economic Commission for Africa, Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (ECA-SRO-SA) continued support and commitment in building the national capacity to produce reliable, timeous and high-quality tourism statistics through imparting the necessary skills for the development of the TSA. He emphasised the need for good and useful data for the tourism sector to give a comprehensive view of the total contribution of the sector to the economy. He added that, ‘there is a lot of leakages in the sector and we will be using the TSA as a tool to help with accounting for the sector and facilitate its growth”.
Mr. Abel Sindano, Executive-Economics Department at the National Statistics Agency (NSA) also stressed that the capacity building on tourism statistics was crucial to impart the necessary skills for development of the country’s TSA which is already overdue as the country is presently using outdated data from 2015 surveys to inform decisions on the sector, but also to ensure that the country is capacitated with the relevant skills for future successive TSAs. He remarked that, “the skills built today should be for the greater good of the economy. I appeal to all trained participants to always avail yourselves, even after leaving your current institutions, to support the building of successive national TSAs after the end of the technical support by UNECA”.
ECA SRO-SA remarks were delivered by Ms. Olayinka Bandele, Chief, Inclusive Industrialization who outlined progress made from the previous engagements that has culminated in making the present workshop a great success, including the project launch, the orientation workshop in May 2022 and the first capacity building training held in August 2022. She noted that, “we have learnt the importance of development of a comprehensive TSA for the country, especially as a holistic framework that measures the contribution of tourism to the country's economy. It provides detailed information on tourism consumption, tourism supply, tourism employment, and tourism investment, which enables policymakers to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively”.
She pointed out that TSA also enables the monitoring of tourism's contribution to sustainable development goals, provides a basis for benchmarking and international comparisons. Thus, “implementing the TSA offers numerous benefits for Namibia. It allows for a better understanding of tourism's direct and indirect impacts on the economy, facilitates the identification of growth opportunities and challenges, and supports evidence-based policy formulation and strategic planning”.
The previous workshops by UNECA had enabled the development and finalisation of the tourism survey questionnaires and advised on the methodologies to be used for the different surveys to capture quality, relevant and reliable tourism data that will feed into the 10 TSA tables. UNECA supported the first round of surveys undertaken from 17 – 30 October 2022 to collect the high season tourism data and the data cleaning exercise done in January 2023 to ensure the quality of the data. To kickstart the training session, participants received feedback on the surveys from MEFT and from the National Statistics Agency. The presentations highlighted the methodologies and the key findings from the surveys.
The workshop was attended by over 40 participants from key institutions including the government ministries, the national statistical office, the national bank, Namibia Tourism Board, the private sector, the academia, and tourism sector professionals.
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