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Thanks to research completed by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, a new tool to measure the tourist industry’s contribution to the economy, has now been developed. Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding says the completed task was presented to him two weeks ago and will soon be fully reported to the public.
Called the Tourism Satellite Account, this new tool of measurement which was first proposed by Mr. Golding almost 20-years ago, will assist the country in measuring and quantifying the impact of tourism on the economy.
The Prime Minister made the disclosure when he addressed hundreds of travel agents and industry stakeholders at the opening of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) last night (May 11) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St. James. He said that with this new matrix, even those who tended in the past to be cynical about the industry, would begin to develop an appreciation of what it means and how important it is for us to secure it, protect it and build it.
Mr. Golding said it was in light of this need that he had made the request of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica to develop, within the national accounts, a measure of the tourist industry’s contribution to the economy.
“It is important for the stakeholders in the industry to examine it and to see what it has produced. The Statistical Institute has brought to bear on it, all of the statistical and the analytical skills that we have built up”.
The TSA has demonstrated the fact that tourism is one of the leading sectors of the economy; and it has also been able to measure the contribution of tourism in terms of employment creation and the sustaining of employment. It has also been able to indicate the value in terms of foreign exchange earnings. Mr. Golding said he is confident that the Tourism Satellite Account will initiate an interesting and robust debate in terms of the measure of the value of landed tourism to cruise shipping.
“Jamaica now has the tools to inform critical policy decision, instead of groping in the dark, taking a decision and hoping it will produce desired results. It is part of our investment in an industry that we consider to be so vital,” Mr. Golding added.
Mr. Golding welcomed all the travel agents, emphasising his great satisfaction with the response from the Canadian market and the tremendous growth he has seen. He said he is impressed with what Minister of Tourism Hon. Ed Bartlett indicated about the prospects for Latin America, an area that is now seen as a market with tremendous potential.