UNWTO and RETOSA hold Fifth Capacity Building Workshop in Namibia

UNWTO and RETOSA hold Fifth Capacity Building Workshop in Namibia

UNWTO and RETOSA have extended their partnership for the joint National Statistics Capacity   Building Programme (NSCBP) with the fifth workshop for southern African countries that was held in Swakopmund, Namibia, from 2-6 December 2013. The Workshop gathered over 40 participants from 10 countries* comprising a range of government officials, statisticians, economists and tourism specialists.  

The main objectives of the Workshop were to provide technical guidance and training on the requirements for the preparation of an experimental Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), and for country teams to attempt to prepare an experimental TSA based on the UNWTO framework and guidelines. Participating country teams gave presentations on notable developments and progress made in their respective national systems since the fourth workshop in Dar es Salaam in March 2013, together with the challenges faced. A number of key issues were raised by participants affecting the implementation of TSAs which included funding for tourism statistics and data, the role of the private sector as part of the inter-institutional platform and mobilising greater government support. Country case studies were also presented from Zambia and Mozambique.

The Workshop demonstrated the progress made by all countries in transitioning to a position where there is greater understanding of the scope and requirements of the TSA, the data and knowledge gaps in their own systems and the tools and strategy required towards addressing these. All participating countries prepared estimates for the TSA tables required for an experimental TSA and this illustrated where scope for further improvements are needed, which is a significant achievement from the early stages of the joint programme. The key challenge for many countries is to undertake further research on what additional survey instruments are required for national systems to close underlying data gaps, as well as developing plans to operationalise these surveys through budgetary proposals. In this context, participants worked to prepare programmes for achieving a pilot experimental TSA as part of the workshop’s agenda.

UNWTO and RETOSA are currently planning to hold a Sixth Workshop for the programme in the second quarter of 2014. 

*Participating countries at the workshop were:  Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.