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Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare
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Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, says tourism plays a significant role in the Ghanaian economy although the industry is not measured as a sector in its own right.

She said “from all indications, tourism plays a significant role in the Ghanaian economy. However, unlike output-defined industries such as agriculture or manufacturing, the primarily demand-defined tourism industry is not measured as a sector in its own right in national accounts”.

Mrs Ofosu Adjare made this known on Tuesday at a stakeholder’s forum on establishing systems of tourism statistics and cross sector collation of data for development of a tourism satellite account for Ghana, in Accra.

She said the forum is to initiate the process to finally develop a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Ghana through a collaborative and participatory process.

She said it is also to identify basic statistics for the compilation of a TSA, to assess data sources related to tourism in Ghana and identify gaps in relation to the Account, to identify tourism characteristic products and activities.

It is also to identify types of surveys and questionnaires, to prepare a work programme and an action plan for implementation, and to institute a multi-sectorial stakeholder committee that will periodically validate the TSA to ensure that credible data is being generated.

The forum is also to share ideas, knowledge and experience with the aim of providing the country with a veritable solid policy direction for developing a strategy and achievable implementation plan and programme to promote tourism, culture and creative arts.

Mrs Ofosu Adjare said tourism, globally, is not a clearly defined industry in the System of National Accounts (SNA) but it is an amalgamation of industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, and travel agencies.

She said the 1993 SNA does, however, provide for the development of TSAs for the explicit study of tourism-related industries and products.

The tourism Minister said: “ TSA is a statistical instrument used to measure the size of the tourism industry’s contribution to the economy of a country according to international standards of concepts, classifications and definitions, which will allow for valid comparisons with other industries and, eventually, between individual countries and between groups of countries.”

She said: “The role of the private sector stakeholders in providing data through surveys, administrative and operational records is very critical to this initiative and cannot be overlooked since tourism in particular is private-sector driven.”

According to the Sector Minister, TSA would provide producers of tourism statistics with the framework to improve national methods of data collection in the tourism industries.

She said it would also provide users of tourism data with extensive data outlay and build confidence in the credibility of data available.

She said the preparation of a TSA is important, but it is not the responsibility of a single institution and should best be approached as a collaborative effort, thus other public institutions which have important administrative sources of data are expected to play pivotal roles to ensure that the introduction of a TSA is successful in Ghana.

Mr Charles Osei Bonsu, Acting Executive Director of Ghana Tourist Authority said tourism is not measured in its own heights in the national account.

He said the forum is aimed at setting the framework for guiding tourism statistics in such a way that it would be consistent and reliable to the national economy.

Dr Alhassan Iddrisu, Director, Economic Research and Forecast, Ministry of Finance said there is the need for creating opportunities for gathering reliable data on tourism.

He said it therefore important to systematically capture accounts on tourism for the purpose of national accounting.

“If appropriate instruments are provided and efficient measures are put in place, tourism could become the leading contributor to the national economy,” Dr Iddrisu said.
Source: GNA

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