Following an assessment of the national tourism statistical system of the Seychelles conducted in 2017 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) where a number of gaps were identified, the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine entered into an agreement with the UNWTO for strengthening the system of tourism statistics and subsequently developing a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) in Seychelles.
The objective of this mutual cooperation is to establish an efficient and dynamic system for the processing of tourism statistics in the Seychelles. The TSA which is expected to be implemented over a three year period, that is from 2019 to 2021, commenced during the second week of January, 2019 and was led by UNWTO experts Mr. Pedro Aramburu and Mr. Kevin Millington.
As part of the initial mission, a workshop was held on 17th January, 2019 at the Eden Bleu Hotel where an overview of tourism statistics was provided to stakeholders, detailing the concepts, classification and definitions of each parts which go into successfully developing a TSA. In her opening remarks, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Anne Lafortune expressed her gratitude for the extensive support gained from all relevant stakeholders involved throughout the initial process of developing the TSA and urged all relevant parties to maintain the momentum so as to ensure that the goal of having a fully-fledged TSA by 2021 is achieved. Mrs. Lafortune emphasized that the basis for making the project a reality is the provision of accurate and reliable statistics by all stakeholders. This shall in turn “foster accuracy, integrity and consistency in Government decision making” she mentioned.
Present at the workshop were Government officials including representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, National Bureau of Statistics, the Central Bank of Seychelles, the Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Ports Authority. The workshop also saw the participation of members of the tourism trade such as Air Seychelles, the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the La Digue Business Association.
The UNWTO consultants also shared the results from the two week mission where through close collaboration with National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s first Visitor Cruise survey was successfully developed as well as various adjustments made to the pre-existing Airport Visitor Survey. The stakeholders were also given an overview of inbound, domestic and outbound tourism and its impact on the country’s balance of payment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The importance of efficiently gathering information from activities related to each respective concept was also highlighted.
The UNWTO experts interactively conveyed the importance of each institution, public and private in the development of the TSA and how consequently a better system for processing statistics will benefit each and every stakeholder present.