Tourism growth, job creation to be better tracked

Monday, May 11, 2009

Durban - South African Tourism (SAT) has launched the first Tourism Satellite Account - a tool used to measure growth and job creation in the tourism industry.

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.

The Tourism Satellite Account, unveiled at the Tourism Indaba, is a United National World Travel Organisation-approved methodology used for measuring and tracking the overall value and contribution of tourism to all sectors of the economy.

Sindiswa Nhlumayo, Deputy Director General at the department said: "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."

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 GDP for South Africa was R45.7 billion in 2005 - or 3 percent of the national GDP.

It also indicates that the tourism industries employed 527 630 people or 4.3 percent 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 realize the full potential of this growing industry.