Lesotho attends the 61st UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa
Lesotho delegation from the Ministry of Tourism Environment and culture (MTEC) and LTDC participated at the 61st UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa and the seminar for tourism statistics. The delegation was led by the Honourable Minister of Tourism Environment and Culture, Mr Motlohi Maliehe, other representatives who attended were Principal Secretary at MTEC, Mr Maraka, Mr Lemeke from MTEC and LTDC’s Head Research and Development, Mr Ramafikeng.
Lesotho Delegation at 61st UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa with Dr. Pali Lehohla, one of the guest speakers
Among the highlights of the event was the Ministerial dialogue session on the importance of tourism statistics, Participants of this session sought to emphasise the relevance of tourism statistics as a tool for development of effective strategies for sustainability in tourism and policy formulation. Against this background, participants also emphasised the need to accurately measure the economic impact of tourism in order to examine if the implemented strategies contribute effectively to the national economies.
Further discussions were on the need to establish national tourism statistics systems and to engage national tourism stakeholders and institutions as partners, including the role they can play to achieve the objectives and realise the much needed tourism potential in the African region.
This meeting attracted 18 Tourism Ministers from Africa and key stakeholders from 36 countries. Other than tourism statistics, the participants discussed ways in which tourism projects can contribute to poverty reduction at individual countries and Africa in general. On that note, the relevance of innovative approaches in regional development and the need for partnerships in tourism promotion were also discussed and emphasised.
Mr Ramafikeng in his comments reiterated on the importance of institutional cooperation in compilation of tourism statistics. He said although technical, the development and implementation of sound system tourism statistics is a political and strategic endeavour that requires wide and consistent stakeholder engagement, collaboration and institutional coordination and leadership. He noted that for Lesotho, institutions like MTEC, Central Bank, Immigration, Bureau of Statistics and the Private sector have to cooperate in order for Lesotho to produce reliable and accurate tourism statistics.