12 May 2009
South African Tourism has launched the first Tourism Satellite Account, a tool used to measure growth and job creation in the tourism industry.
Unveiled at the Tourism Indaba, the account is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation-approved methodology used for measuring and tracking the overall value and contribution of tourism to all sectors of the economy.
It has always been difficult to measure and track tourism’s contribution to the larger economy and total job creation in South Africa, until now.
“Although we have good and accurate research around tourism specifically, there has until now, been a statistics void around the peripheral industries especially, and the extent to which they profit from tourism,” Tourism deputy director-general Sindiswa Nhlumayo said at the exhibition in Durban this week.
Contribution to economy
Besides tracking the number of tourism jobs created and the contribution to the country’s GDP, tourism bodies will now also be able to tell which activities are most beneficial to the tourist and, in effect, to the economy.
South Africa’s tourism satellite account indicates that the tourism gross domestic product (GDP) for South Africa was R45.7-billion in 2005 – or three percent of the national GDP.
It also indicates that the tourism industries employed 527 630 people or 4.3% of total employment. This includes employment that is directly and indirectly related to the goods and services acquired by tourists and non-tourists.
“The launch of the Tourism Satellite Account is an important landmark for us,” said South African Tourism acting CEO Didi Moyle.
She said they now have a tool to measures growth and job creation through tourism to enable them to plan, to execute and to work to realise the full potential of this growing industry.