The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union Commission (UEMOA) have partnered to deliver training for tourism stakeholders in the area of tourism statistics.
The five-day training session is part of an ongoing process to help in the establishment of Tourism Satellite Accounts in the UEMOA region to develop tourism statistics.
The program which is being held in Cotonou, Benin will deliver fifteen sessions under the leadership of UNWTO experts aimed at strengthening the capacity of Member States in the framework of the implementation of the tourism satellite account.
Tourism statistics are needed to formulate marketing strategies, strengthen inter-institutional links, assess management effectiveness, and measure tourism across the national economy.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the training, the Regional Director for Africa at UNWTO Elcia Grandcourt said the collection of statistical data is an exercise necessary for the proper execution of economic policies, adhering to internationally accepted standards.
“It is, therefore, essential to improve statistical capacities to refine the analysis of poverty and its social impact and to facilitate more effective monitoring of the progress made in the perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
‘’It is imperative to have reliable and up-to-date data to better measure, monitor and manage development results. There is also an urgent demand on the African continent for reliable and up-to-date data to support monitoring of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and Country Development Strategies’’ she observed.
UNWTO strongly encourages the continued application of TSAs in countries through capacity building, technical assistance, and the development of the TSA Guide;
Ms. Grandcourt expressed appreciation to the 32 participants from the UEMOA region and member states of the UNWTO for their presence, enthusiasm, and sharing of experiences throughout the five days of the workshop.
In 2008, the UN Statistical Commission endorsed the International Recommendations on Tourism Statistics, which were designed to support the development of quality tourism statistics and core indicators in each country and to strengthen the international comparability of tourism statistics. Today, many countries have developed or are in the process of developing tourism statistics systems based on this framework.
Benin’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, H.E.Babalola Jean-Michel Abimbola was full of praise for UNWTO and UEMOA in collaborating to address a very vital and important topic in the development of tourism in the West African sub-region.
‘’I hope that aspects that might impede the proper implementation of this tool be considered and discussed to achieve a harmonization of understanding and the implementation of the Tourism Satellite Account. I, therefore, entreat participants to be attentive and integrate the learnings from this workshop in their respective countries.” the Minister said.
On his part, the Commissioner of Human Development at UEMOA Commission, Mamad du Serifo JAQUITE thanked the Government of Benin under the leadership of President Patrice Talon for the commitment to develop a policy of growth for the tourism sector.
He added’’ Benin today presents itself as a model for tourism development and my department is not only encouraging you but willing to accompany you. ”
Mr. JAQUITE was encouraged by the participation of UEMOA members and urged them to continue placing tourism at the forefront of economic activities.
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