Zimbabwe is part of regional participants in a regional drive to capacitate Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to collate statistics related to tourism which experts say will boost the sector.
Acting Executive Director of the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA), a (SADC) institution responsible for tourism growth and development, Simba Mandinyenya said there are disaggregated statistics on tourism.
Mandinyenya said while most countries track the contribution of tourism to their GDPs the diverse nature of the tourism value chains means that most countries fail to fully capture the role it plays in the national economy.
He said 11 member states participating in the capacity building project have specialist from statistical offices, immigration departments and other key functional areas to enable collating of data.
“There is a gap in the national accounts of establishing precisely how tourism as a sector contributes to national economy because tourism is not part of the national accounts.
“As RETOSA we are continuing with the program of capacity building in tourism statistics with a broad aim of enabling member states to establish Tourism Satellite Accounts
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, Ms Florence Nhekairo, in remarks read on her behalf by Policy, research, Planning and Development director Douglas Runyowa, said tourism was a critical sector vital to economic growth.
She said the rationale of having an accounting system to collate relevant tourism data to come up with critical information on the sector’s contribution to the economy.
“Tourism is one of the critical pillars of Zimbabwe’s economy growing at an improved rate. Currently it is contributing about 11% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The development of the Tourism Satellite Account brings to the table the importance of tourism in any particular economy,” said
Adding that, “Zimbabwe is one of the countries eager to have completed their TSAs within the next few years.”
RETOSA in partnership with Member States’ Tourism Ministries, Tourism Boards and private sector, aims to increase tourist arrivals to the region through sustainable development initiatives, improved regional competitiveness, and effective destination marketing.
Member States include Angola, Botswana, D R Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.