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UNWTO and RETOSA strengthen statistical capacities in Southern Africa
UNWTO and the Regional Tourism Organisation for Southern Africa (RETOSA) jointly hosted a workshop (Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-9 September 2011) to provide high-quality training and a knowledge exchange opportunity to regional tourism and statistics officials within the framework of the UNWTO Statistical Capacity Building Programme (SCBP).
Officials from over ten countries in the region attended the workshop in which the significance of reliable data management for tourism development was repeatedly highlighted. Harsh Varma, UNWTO Director of Technical Cooperation said, “in order for National Tourism Administrations and Organisations to operate effectively, it is essential that accurate data is at their disposal as tourism statistics constitute the critical basis for tourism planning, development and marketing strategies”.
Countries participating in the SCBP were provided the opportunity to exchange their experiences and outcomes of the programme thus far. On a country-by-country basis, specific achievements were presented, such as the preparation of various experimental TSAs, and key challenges were discussed.
UNWTO launched the SCBP to review and improve national systems of tourism statistics and Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs) through technical support and assistance to its Member States. Since its launch, UNWTO has joined forces with RETOSA to deliver technical assistance to thirteen Southern African countries. The SCBP consists of an evaluation mission in which a detailed review and situation analysis of national systems of tourism statistics is undertaken and development opportunities are identified. Individual country action plans are then produced and the programme’s progress is monitored.
In a move to further improve capacities in this area and strengthen their ongoing partnership, UNWTO and RETOSA committed to the organization of two ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops during the first quarter of 2012.
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