Statistics on tourism is necessary to assess the industry’s full impact throughout the economy, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (MOTCCA) said on Tuesday.
In a speech read on her behalf at the inauguration of a multi-sectoral stakeholder committee, Mrs. Ofosu-Adjare said statistics would allow for evidenced based policy and decision making in the sector.
The multi-sectoral stakeholder committee would look at establishing system of tourism statistics, cross-sector collation of data, and development of Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Ghana.
The 17-member committee chaired by Nana Bright Oduro-Kwateng, MOTCCA, includes Mrs Olivia Opoku-Adomah, MOTCCA, Elizabeth Nancy Amoyaw, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs Dorothy Onny, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Ghana Tourism Authority among others.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the TSA is a standard framework for organizing statistical data on tourism, and assessing its impact and relationship with other sectors on a nation’s balance of payments.
She said the decision to develop a TSA was informed by concerns expressed that the Tourism Industry that it was not adequately represented in the System of National Accounts (SNA).
Among the terms of Reference of the Committee are discussion of the work of the Technical Committee and inputs from the stakeholder forum, and review of the draft work programme for implementation.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the committee was also to review the budget of the work programme for approval, prepare an action plan, and periodically validate the TSA to ensure that verified data was available for national development planning and other purposes.
Mrs Ofosu Adjare said the sector was not currently measured on its own right and therefore evaluating the industry’s impact on the national economy was a challenge.
She said the move was also to meet the need of generating credible data for stakeholders, including the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Policy Makers, Investors, Public Organisations, Private Sector Industry Players, Academia, Researchers among others.
She said the task to develop the TSA was enormous and its execution needed various competencies and requirements, including knowledge of the tourism sector, technical data collection and production expertise, technical National Accounts expertise, and availability of the required good quality data.
Other requirements and competences needed are the use of all relevant data available, support from all relevant stakeholders that is Government, private sector and academia, close and positive working relations between all the stakeholders, understanding and acceptance by all that the TSA is a complicated but necessary process.
She acknowledged the competencies of the committee members and expressed the hope that they would ensure the production of a TSA that is legitimate, credible and widely accepted both internationally and nationally.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the Ministry, Ghana Tourism Authority and all other agencies found it necessary to engage other stakeholders -both public and private sectors- to consolidate available tourism and tourism-related data in Ghana, determine gaps and put in place measures to address the gaps and eventually develop a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Ghana as sanctioned by United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).