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KUCHING: Sarawak is the first state in Malaysia to adopt the Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA).
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said TSA is a system that will not only be beneficial to the state tourism industry but also for the management of a department and a country.
“Tourism industry players have their own set of statistics. The most important thing is how to use them.
“We will use the data we have and turn it into what we call tourism satellite accounting where we can merge all this data and do a good analysis on it and from there, we can put TSA to good use to improve ourselves or to bring our tourism industry to greater heights.
“We will try to do it as soon as possible because we have got all the industry players, hoteliers, guides, and travel agents here already. And this is just the first briefing. We want to see the proper mechanism of the collection of data and compiling of data being done.
“This is why we need to hold one or two-day labs for all industry players, so that we can see where all our problems are and also how to synchronize ourselves,” said Abdul Karim at a press conference after the “Briefing on TSA to Tourism Industry Players in Sarawak” at a local hotel here this morning.
Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon in his speech said TSA is based on System of National Accounts (SNA) by the United Nations (UN).
“Sarawak has adopted TSA which is a systematic statistical measurement that applies concept, classification and definition based on international standards of the UN.
“It is expected to provide comprehensive information on international comparability of tourism statistics for Sarawak.
“It presents data on expenditure for inbound, domestic, outbound and internal tourism, production accounts and employment in the tourism industries,” he said during the briefing.
He said the satellite information is able to link to additional information specific to tourism-related industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage service activities, recreation, entertainment and travel agencies.
“Various information available in difference tourism-related industries are integrated into this satellite account to provide a better picture of the impact of the Sarawak tourism industry.
“TSA is to capture visitors’ information in more detail and gain better understanding about the destination attractiveness of Sarawak as a host to boost tourism.
“Accurate and comparable statistics represent the basic information for government to understand tourism needs well, thus to plan appropriate policies based on correct statistics are necessary for tourism development and link tourism with growth and employment,” he said.
In addition, he said a TSA technical committee has been established to monitor and assist in the implementation.
“The committee members comprise the Statistics Department, Sarawak Immigration Department, MTACYCS, Sarawak Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tourism Malaysia, State Planning Unit and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
“We also liaised with other international bodes such as UNWTO, New Zealand Statistics Department and Australia Statistics Department for the coordination of related international statistics,” he said.