Saturday, January 18, 2020

iGA and BTEA Discuss 4th Tourism Survey

The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) and the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) met to discuss the fourth Tourism Survey, an essential part of the strategy to develop the tourism sector. The event was attended by iGA Chief Executive Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, BTEA Chief Executive Officer Nader Almoayyed, and the tourism survey team.

The meeting discussed the importance of gathering tourism statistics in order to present a detailed picture of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s various tourism projects and programs, including data on the supply and demand of services. He noted that the survey incorporated concepts, standards, and methodologies adopted by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (WTO) that are aimed at meeting national, regional, and international standards. Statistics are an important pillar of the government’s strategy for the tourism sector, one of the most important contributors to the national economy.

The survey team presented the accomplishments of the fourth survey, including the addition of sub-tabulations, which is in line with the framework used to measure tourism’s contributions to national economy as recommended by the United Nations Statistical Commission (StatCom), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD), and the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). To date 70 countries, including two from the GCC (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman) have applied the framework.

The meeting discussed the positive impact of the survey. Bahrain’s ranking on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual Tourism and Travel Competitiveness Index improved by 31 places in 2019 as the Kingdom strengthen its data collection, unified its statistics measurements system, and improved in providing this data to policy makers and decision takers. Al Qaed praised the results of the survey, which aims to help the Ministry and the BTEA create innovative tourism programs able to compete against others in the region.

Mr. Almoayyed said: “The project’s success is a testament to the strong working relationship between our two organizations, which has resulted in a comprehensive database of statistics that gives a clear picture for decision-makers about the reality of the Kingdom’s tourism sector, helping them to make appropriate decisions and develop plans, strategies and policies aimed at improving the industry.”

Al Qaed, expressed his pride in the outputs of the tourism survey project, hoping that the next stage will bring further positive results. He said that the iGA is ready to support the BTEA’S programs, congratulating Al Moayyed on the issuance the Royal Decree appointing him to his current position, and wishing him every success in executing the responsibilities entrusted to him.

The meeting discussed a number of other items, including future activities by the survey’s action force aimed at maintaining the flow of up to date, high quality statistics; the importance of being able to extract data on the tourism sector’s contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including information on consumer spending by visitors; the value added by tourism indicators in achieving the Kingdom’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and the setting of a timeframe for the introduction of tourism sub-tabulation requirements, an essential tool in measuring the contribution of tourism activities to GDP, the national economy, and the balance of trade.

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