Workshop to support the development of National Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) for Jordan

25 April 2012

Amman – In a bid to enhance the availability and usage of tourism statistics in Jordan, the USAID Jordan Tourism Development Project (Siyaha) launched a two-day training workshop today that will support the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the Department of Statistics (DoS) in developing and implementing National Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) for Jordan.

"These TSAs will give us a clearer idea of tourism’s contribution to Jordan’s GDP, thus highlighting the significance of tourism as an economic sector in Jordan and increase efforts towards developing it further, as we use correct numbers to show accurate total results related to Jordan's national economy. This will strengthen the tourism sector in Jordan and highlight its contribution," said H.E. Nayef Humeidi Al-Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.

The Department of Statistics took part in the workshop in the capacity of its official role in producing and providing detailed and comprehensive data and statistics on all sectors in Jordan. The TSA will help DoS assess the specific added value of the tourism to the country’s GDP and its link to other economic sectors.

"We are pleased to support the government of Jordan in creating a reliable and sustainable source of information that follows the international approach for tourism satellite accounts, and this will result in enhanced decision-making and more efficient development of the sector," said Ms. Beth Paige, USAID Jordan Mission Director.

The workshop was attended by 15 representatives from DoS, MoTA and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB). It seeks to enhance tourism research capacity in Jordan by equipping participants with knowledge and techniques regarding compiling the TSA, which is a satellite-based tourism statistical instrument, according to the recommendations and framework adopted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). By the end of the training, the National Accounts System staff will have more knowledge about tourism concepts, classifications and definitions and will be able to complete 10 TSA tables based on the UNWTO methodology and recommended framework.

The TSA will help the government develop and update tourism statistical information in accordance with international terminologies, classifications, and definitions which aim to highlight the importance of tourism as a strategic sector, and accurately assess tourism impact on GDP, employment, revenue and other economic development indicators. The TSA will also help Jordan’s tourism industry make valid comparisons with other industries, as well as with other countries.

To produce the TSA, a series of related surveys are conducted every year or two years, and the information is fed into the TSA which determines tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP. This highlights the relevant importance of tourism to the national economy, thus enabling the government to design more efficient policies relating to tourism and employment aspects. It also creates awareness among tourism stakeholders and other industries of the sector’s significance and its positive impact on other sectors, such as transport, production, etc. USAID/Siyaha will further support the tourism industry in developing the TSA by providing international expertise to asses the data and compilation of TSA tables, in addition to conducting a series of training workshops and an agreement regarding this cooperation is set to be signed next month.