St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association CEO Noorani M. Azeez today announced the launch of the Tourism Satellite Account for the country.
Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts, and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rainforest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port. Saint Lucia Tourism is the largest industry in St.Lucia
The fundamental structure of the tourism satellite account recommendations is based on the general balance existing within an economy between the demand for products generated by tourism and their supply.
The TSA thus allows for the harmonization and reconciliation of tourism statistics from an economic (National Accounts) perspective. This enables the generation of tourism economic data (such as Tourism Direct GDP) that is comparable with other economic statistics. Exactly how the TSA does this relates to the SNA logic of contrasting data from the demand-side (the acquisition of goods and services by visitors while on a tourism trip) with data from the supply-side of the economy (the value of goods and services produced by industries in response to visitor expenditure).
The TSA can be seen as a set of 10 summary tables, each with their underlying data:
♦ inbound, domestic tourism and outbound tourism expenditure,
♦ internal tourism expenditure,
♦ production accounts of tourism industries,
♦ the Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributable to tourism,
♦ government consumption, and
♦ non-monetary indicators.
The SLHTA CEO Noorani M. Azeez delivered his view on the launch of tourism satellite account om Saing Lucia today at Hewanorra House, Sans Souci, CASTRIES:
After over a decade of research and analysis, most have come to recognize that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world. Both public and private sector establishments ranging from the World Travel and Tourism Council, The Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association have made these pronouncements at one point in time or another, all to raise the importance of the industry in attracting foreign direct investments, generating employment, nurturing linkages and stimulating partnerships between the public and private sectors towards economic growth and development.
Over the past decade as well, this main driver of Caribbean economies has demonstrated its resilience to both economic and climate shocks, allowing faster recovery times for small island developing states ravaged by hurricanes and other natural disasters. Notwithstanding hurricanes, earthquakes and political instability in some parts, the benefits of tourism are now clearly irrefutable. But what of the costs associated with this dependency?
As tourism arrivals grow and our economic and social fortunes become ever dangerously intertwined, we must now set our thoughts on higher level considerations. Can Tourism truthfully help our youth to create wealth? Can Tourism really empower low and semi-skilled workers to achieve and maintain sustainable middle-income lives? Can Tourism nurture small business development? And can Tourism help us to leave stronger cultural, artistic, environmental and social legacies for our children’s children?
It is only by measuring this growth and inter-dependence accurately can we know for sure, what the true impact of tourism really is, and, only by measuring tourism accurately can we capture the intelligence to drive innovation and creativity to fully extract the promises of tourism.
Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) has become the standard-bearer and the main tool for the economic measurement of tourism. Developed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Statistics Division and a few other global partners, the TSA allow for the harmonization and reconciliation of tourism statistics, helping us to measure the consumption of goods and services by visitors and the domestic supply of goods and services to meet this demand. We have come to realize that growth in arrivals is one thing but growth in visitor expenditure can be quite another.
I wish to commend the Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries and other partnering public sector professionals for their efforts at making our Tourism Satellite Account aspirations a reality.
And now that it is a reality, how do we make it a success?
Private sector support and active participation is an important part of the equation for ensuring success.
By providing and analyzing data, we can now map the contributions of visitor consumption to our economy. Through better understanding of these consumption patterns, we can stimulate private sector innovation, creativity and change. This in turn inspires public sector action to secure resources and funding for new tourism policy initiatives. Together, the private and public sectors can grow this symbiotic relationship to set long term socio-economic targets and craft strategies for business development.
Over a year ago, the SLHTA answered a call by the Ministry of Tourism to share our opinions on the introduction of the TSA. SLHTA members eagerly gathered to better understand the task at hand and to commit our support for the initiative. To date, this resolve has not waivered. The SLHTA is keen on the analysis of the TSA data and understanding how this can help us improve productivity, grow our competitiveness and improve job prospects for career tourism professionals.
In many studies regarding the impact of TSA, collaboration with the private sector has been recognized as a key ingredient in the success of data capture and information exchange. This public and private sector collaboration is also a crucial determinant of our destination’s success in Tourism.
We hope that the TSA will continue to grow and become part of our System of National Accounts encouraging the convergence of multi sectoral goals and strategies.
Our primary challenges will no doubt include the availability of data sources, their timeliness and reliability. However, as committed as we are to collaborating to obtain the data, we must also remain resolute in sharing the findings. By doing so we will find it easier to speak truth to power and commit to the tough decisions needed to harness the wealth creation promise of hospitality and tourism.
About Noorani Azeez:
Noorani Azeez under his current portfolio as Chief Executive Officer at the St. Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA), is charged with the development of strategic plans and re-engineering of organizational structures and systems to ensure a more pro-active role in tourism advocacy and enhanced productivity of the Association and its members.
Under multiple portfolios over the past nine years, Noorani facilitated and led the successful creation and management of:
SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund which has supported over 100 hundred projects designed to build community resilience, support environmental protection and establish linkages between tourism and other industries
A Hospitality Training Centre which trained over 700 tourism industry employees during its inaugural year in 2017
A local Foreign Languages Learning Centre in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico and University of Quintana Roo
A Hospitality Apprenticeship Program for Youth which has provided tourism internships for over 550 unemployed youth seeking careers in hospitality
The Virtual Agricultural Clearing House facility which uses a What’s App platform as a trading forum for farmers and hoteliers. Over 400 farmers and 12 hotels participate in the program resulting in trade of almost 1 million dollars of locally grown agricultural produce during its first year of operations. The project has won international best practice awards and recognition from the CHTA and WTTC.
Negotiated the institution of an SLHTA Group Medical Insurance Plan for industry employees via the SLHTA to allow access to medical insurance for employees whose companies cannot afford to provide insurance for them. To date, over 2000 employees currently participate in the program which has greater benefits than any other local plans for the lowest premiums.
Prior to joining the SLHTA, Noorani served as Training and Development Manager for Sandals Resorts International. His responsibilities in this post included conducting training needs assessment of team members and providing training and guidance to line staff and management professionals in a variety of subject areas, both locally and regionally, to ensure consistency in service delivery.
Before this, he served as General Manager at the National Skills Development Centre Inc. (NSDC) for over five years. At NSDC he was responsible for negotiating donor grant funds and managed projects for training unemployed youth in hospitality and other fields of study.
Qualified with a degree in Business Administration and experience as a project development and management specialist, Noorani adds value to community resilience efforts, private sector development and the national growth agenda through excellent human relations skills, effective organizational task management and impeccable character. The opportunity to energize the holistic development of small island developing states and purposefully impact our communities are endeavours which unlock his passions.Gasper George – Representative For SLASPA