UNWTO supports South Africa for the development of its System of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account

UNWTO has partnered with South Africa to extend technical assistance for its System of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA). While South Africa has a relatively advanced system, there is a strong interest from both the government and other tourism stakeholders to further develop the system to accurately measure the economic contribution to the country and support policy makers in monitoring the sector. 

An evaluation mission was fielded to South Africa to conduct a detailed review of the existing base of national tourism data and identify areas for implementing improvements. The mission held consultations with a number of key institutions including the National Department of Tourism, Statistics South Africa, South African Tourism and the South Africa Reserve Bank. The mission recognised the achievements made by the national authorities in developing its tourism statistics and Tourism Satellite Account, the latter of which has been elaborated since 2005. Additionally, the mission identified a number of areas where further improvements would be necessary to ensure that the tourism data can serve as a reference for socio-economic analysis of tourism and its use for future tourism strategies. The key priorities for the South African STS and TSA include strengthening the measurement of domestic tourism, introducing review mechanisms in data accuracy for the TSA, establishing a framework for tourism data collection at the provincial level and affording a greater focus on measuring the contribution of the informal tourism sector. Other issues which the mission addressed included harmonising coordination among agencies for data collection processes and knowledge sharing. The Final Report, which was submitted to the Department of Tourism, details a number of short and long-term recommendations in these areas to be addressed by the South African authorities.