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Canada to chair WTO committee on statistics

The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is not only about statistics, it is much more, providing concrete proof that tourism is…

The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is not only about statistics, it is much more, providing concrete proof that tourism isone of the most important economic sectors and, thus, indispensable in today`s world. To obtain wider recognition of this issue, the World Tourism Organization is preparing a new World Conference in 2005 to explain the usefulness of the TSA.



During its fifth session, mid-March, the Committee on Statistics and Macroeconomic Analysis elected Canada as President for the period 2004 – 2007. Canada is represented by Mr. Scott Meis, Executive Director of Research at the Canadian Tourism Commission. Spain (Instituto de Estudios

Turisticos) and France (Direction Generale du Tourisme) will serve as Vice-Chairmen.



The Committee discussed several issues related to the TSA, including its methodological framework and the organization of the World Conference on TSA, scheduled for 2005, which will serve as an instrument for understanding tourism and designing new strategies. The recent transformation of our Organization into a specialized agency of the United

Nations also sent a clear message: to reaffirm our leading role in the development and promotion of the TSA
stressed the Secretary-General Mr.Francesco Frangialli. According to United Nations, WTO is the appropriate organization to collect, to analyse, to publish, to standardize and to improve the tourism statistics and to promote the integration of these

statistics within the sphere of the United Nations system.




The WTO and the community of tourism statisticians have made tremendous progress in the past fifteen years in, first, developing a foundation of common concepts to measure, monitor and describe the phenomenon of tourism,

and second, in developing the tools – the Tourism Satellite Account and its associated extensions and applications — to measure and describe the size, structure and dynamics of tourism in the national economy
said Committee`s

new President Mr. Meis.



Two working groups were created at the meeting, the first on employment in tourism. It will be chaired by Spain and will try to define actual practices and set standards for a more comprehensive assessment of different types of employment in the tourism industry. The second group,

chaired by Canada, will be responsible for the methodological aspects of the TSA. The WTO Department of Statistics and Economic Measurement of Tourism will disseminate a questionnaire to all countries, which already

have implemented the TSA, in order to clarify the most challenging problems and definitions included in the Accounts. This group will suggest some updates in the revision of the System of National Accounts (SNA93) which

just started and provide a chance to enhance the relation with the TSA methodological framework on aspects such as travel agencies, package tours, etc.



For this new period, the Committee will be composed by the member States (Canada, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, France, India, Israel, Mexico, Mozambique, the Philippines, Spain and Tunisia), Associate Members (Aruba), representatives of the affiliate members (Centro Internazionale di Studi e

ricerche sull` Economia Turistica – CISET, International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA, International Hotel & Restaurant Association – IH&RA, MasterCard International), observers (non-member States: Australia, Singapore, Sweden, United States of America; and institutions: Statistical Office of the European Community -Eurostat, International Labour Organisation -ILO, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD, Ufficio Italiano dei Cambi – UIC, World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC).



Among present at the Committee meeting were also invitees from the Comite Regional du Tourisme (CRT) Riviera Cote d`Azur, Hungarian National Tourist Office, of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the

Caribbean and the European Commission.

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