Statistics key to  success of  tourism industry (1)


the launch of Domestic Outbound Tourism Survey must be applauded

Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim launched the maiden. Domestic and Outbound Tourism Survey (DOTS). He said Ghana is expected to generate over $1.5 billion from tourist arrivals by 2027. If this is achieved, he said over 1.4 million jobs would have been created for the citizenry and reduce the country’s employment deficit. The surveys are the Ghana International Travellers’ Survey, the Domestic and Outbound Tourism Survey, Accommodation Units Survey and the Tourism Supply Establishment Survey. The aim is to compile the Tourism Satellite Account to serve as a basis for computing the sector’s information for national development for three years.

“The way to go is tourism because the sector will promote all the needed resource needs of the country for socio-economic development,”

Tracking the country’s potential sector, he stated, would enable authorities to know the number of tourism-related information for comprehensive mapping and decision making.

It’s been a while since Ghana updated its statistical records. Records from the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer and Statistical Annex are updated regularly and it cost money conducting surveys and it’s a good news Ghana had a sponsor to undertake this survey. As part of the implantation plan, The Statistical Service was profiling the policies of Ministries and Agencies in the country to ensure that there were clear targets on quality data.

The professor emphasized that, the government sought to implement the existing 15-year Tourism Development Plan (2013-2027) and other policy documents, the need for a reliable and vibrant data base was important. 220 participants had been mobilized for the training of the survey. They have been advised to be professional in Gathering the data and only time will tell whether indeed they have done a professional job.

What is statistics?

Statistics is defined as the process of collection of data, classifying data, representing the data for easy interpretation, and further analysis of data. Statistics also is referred to as arriving at conclusions from the sample data that is collected using surveys or experiments. The Ghana Statistical Service published a documents in 2017 entitled ‘Trends in the Tourism Market in Ghana 2005-2014. This is very extensive documents highlighting the tourism trends markets in Ghana.  It highlighted international arrivals from 2005 to 2014. Reading the said documents show an increase in international arrivals over the period. This is a very encouraging data meaning understanding the factors that lead to this year on year growth will be a great success factor that will help us sustain the gains over the year. I believe a similar date covering 2014- to date will highlight growth except for the covid-19 periods. The document also highlighted the most visited tourism attraction in Ghana. It also mentioned the highest tourism generating country to Ghana. Again, it made mention of the growth of the highest region in terms of accommodation. This factors could never have been known except for data collection and analyses.

The importance of tourism statistics

Tourism statistics can be defined as the collection of data about every aspect of tourism,  analyzing the data so collected and coming out with an interpretation of what the data is saying with the view of making some predictions based on findings from the analysis.

As a monitoring instrument

One of the reasons why tourism statistics is important is that it serves as monitoring tool by which changes in the tourism industry can be tracked over a period of time. There are rapid changes in today’s fast moving world, not excluding the world of tourism; there is the need therefore to track these changes. One of the ways of doing so is through tourism statistics. In Ghana tracking the like and dislike of tourist is necessary and understanding their expectations is paramount.

Ascertain the effectiveness of tourism policy

Another important thing about tourism statistics is that it can be used to determine whether a policy is effective or not. In order for a country to make maximum gain from tourism, it has to develop certain policies and set goals. In order to check if the policies are working and whether the goals set are being achieved or not, there is the need for tourism statistics. Goals must be SMART and evaluating these goals is always very important.

To design marketing strategies

I saw some good stories about Ghana on CNN geared towards marketing the country’s tourism. Tourism statistics is important for a country like Ghana, because it helps know where to post our ads and the most preferred mode of marketing. Businesses also need to properly compete with their peers in the industry thus statistics becomes important. Tourism is a multi-million global business now and there are several players competing for a share of the market. Tourism statistics can help them to design strategies to help them better market their products to the world as they gradually increase their share of the market.

Evaluation of management decisions

Tourism statistics also helps a management body to be able to ascertain whether a decision that was taken is achieving the results expected. At the beginning of each year, management sets goals for their company to be achieved by the end of a period. From time to time, management needs to evaluate the success or otherwise of the decision so taken. For companies in the tourism sector, tourism statistics can help to make that determination. Reviewing the earlier mentioned document from the Ghana Statistical Service on markets trends, I found the number of tourism businesses reducing over the years rather than increasing. The cause is very important and maybe many of these businesses do not have proper data on the work they. Other reasons could be attributed however decision taking and planning is very key to success.

For national policy formulation

Tourism statistics can provide a lot of information to guide the formulation of national policies on tourism. For example, tourism statistics can determine the demographics on domestic tourism, number of tourists coming in or going out of a country. It can also profile visitors, especially foreign tourists, places they visit, kinds of accommodation they lodge in and their expenditure patterns.  All these information can serve as a huge resource in the formulation of national tourism programs.

Create knowledge about the performance of the sector

Every year in Ghana, the presentation of the annual budget contains information about every sector of the economy. The budget most likely include information about the tourism sector. The Finance Minister needs tourism statistics to determine how the sector had performed the year before and what the plans are for the ensuing year. It becomes essential in the planning and development of physical facilities. To assess the requirements of hotels, airports, roads and other facilities, the volume and the characteristics of the tourist movement have to be determined quantitatively. Statistics are required to evaluate the magnitude and significance of tourism to a tourist destination. Statistics quantify the role and contribution of tourism to the economy and to society and for a country also the part played by tourism in the balance of payments.

Philip Gebu is a Tourism Lecturer. He is also the C.E.O of FoReal Destinations Ltd, a destinations management and marketing company based in Ghana and with partners in many other countries. Please contact Philip with your comments and suggestions. Write to [email protected] / [email protected]   Visit our website at or call or WhatsApp +233(0)244295901.Visist our social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: FoReal Destinations.

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