Abuja A Call To Action For The Development Of Tourism Statistics In Africa

Abuja A Call To Action For The Development Of Tourism Statistics In Africa

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – A Specialized Agency of the United Nations

We, the African representatives of national tourism administrations and other related sectors, statistical
institutes, international and regional organizations, the private sector and the academia gathered at the
Seminar entitled: “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development” jointly organized by the Government of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on 5 June 2018 in Abuja,
Nigeria, on the occasion of 61st UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa:
1. Acknowledge that tourism is a transformative socio-economic sector that can contribute
substantially to the diversification of national economies and the improvement of livelihoods
in our region. The number of international arrivals to and receipts earned by destinations in
the region has shown a sustained growth in the past decades. In 2017, international tourist
arrivals (overnight visitors) to destinations in the region grew an estimated 8% to 63 million,
representing 5% of the world total. This strong momentum is expected to continue at a rate
of 5% to 7% in 2018. According to the UNWTO long-term outlook Tourism towards 2030 the
number of international arrivals is expected to reach 134 million in 2030. This share in
worldwide tourism does not fully reflect the huge potential of tourism in our continent.
2. Recognize that an ever-increasing number of destinations worldwide, and, particularly within
Africa, have opened up to, and invested in tourism, turning it into a key driver of socioeconomic
progress through the creation of jobs and enterprises, export revenues, and
infrastructure development while, at the same time, contributing towards the conservation
and preservation of natural and cultural heritage.
3. Stress the need to better measure tourism with high-quality official statistical information
covering all dimensions of sustainable tourism: economic, social, and environmental in order
to develop the potential of tourism in Africa, better plan and manage the sector and support
effective evidence-based policy decisions in line with the African Union Agenda 2063, which
serves as the basis for Africa’s long term socio-economic and integrative transformation.
4. Recognize that, beyond being a technical exercise, the development and implementation of
a sound system of tourism statistics is a political and strategic endeavour, requiring wide and
consistent stakeholder engagement, collaboration, inter-institutional coordination and
5. Recognize that the development of tourism statistics requires the collaboration and
coordination amongst all relevant national institutions (such as the National Administration,
the National Statistical Office, the Central Bank and the Immigration Authority) and the

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – A Specialized Agency of the United Nations
C/ Poeta Joan Maragall 42, 28020 Madrid, Spain. Tel: (34) 91 567 81 00 / Fax: (34) 91 571 37 33 – info@unwto.org / unwto.org
private sector involved in the compilation and dissemination of tourism statistics due to the
cross-cutting nature of tourism.
6. Strongly commit to implement the two official UN statistical frameworks for measuring
tourism adopted in 2008: the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008i
and the Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008ii. These
statistical frameworks enable countries to produce data that is credible and comparable –
across countries, over time and in concert with other standards.
7. Reaffirm our commitment to produce appropriate and reliable data that adhere to the 10
Fundamental Principles of Official Statisticsiii notably the use of international concepts,
classifications and methods in order to promote the consistency and efficiency of our
statistical systems at all official levels.
8. Unite behind the Manila Call for Action on Measuring Sustainable Tourism adopted at the 6
International Conference on Tourism Statistics: Measuring Sustainable Tourismiv and
endorsed by the UNWTO General Assemblyv
to advocate for the extension of tourism
measurement beyond its primarily economic focus, in order to incorporate environmental,
social and cultural dimensions through the development and implementation of a Statistical
Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourismvi
9. Understand that tourism has a role to play in the achievement of the Agenda 2030 for
Sustainable Developmentvii of the United Nations and that its Member States have included
tourism in three of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): economic growth and
employment (SDG 8); sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12); and, the
sustainable use of marine resources (SDG 14). For monitoring of Agenda 2030 the collection
of SDG tourism indicators founded on the Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable
Tourism is a priority.
10. Stress the need for allocating and mobilizing financial and technical resources to strengthen
and modernize our data sources including census, survey-based, administrative and
innovative sources (e.g. big data), collection mechanisms and dissemination systems while
investing in human resources capacity building.
11. Promote international and regional cooperation efforts in the area of tourism statistics,
including the development of joint programmes and initiatives, the strengthening of
coordination and the transfer of knowledge in order to surmount the different stages of
national statistical development in our region.
12. Encourage all African countries to reinforce their contribution to the UNWTO database on
tourism statistics which constitutes the most comprehensive statistical information available
on the tourism sector and globally disseminated through the Compendiumviii and Yearbook of

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – A Specialized Agency of the United Nations
C/ Poeta Joan Maragall 42, 28020 Madrid, Spain. Tel: (34) 91 567 81 00 / Fax: (34) 91 571 37 33 – info@unwto.org / unwto.org
Tourism Statisticsix, and further analysed and used in numerous ways, among which the
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
We extend our gratitude to our host, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for its warm
welcome and outstanding organization of the Seminar as well as for strongly voicing that robust statistics
are key to manage a sustainable tourism for development in Africa.

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