UNWTO Workshop in Kathmandu Highlights Need for Integrated Data System for Sustainable Tourism Development
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional Workshop on “Measuring Tourism: Better data for better tourism in Asia and the Pacific” concluded successfully in Kathmandu on March 17, 2023. The program was participated by 50 top representatives on tourism and statistics from 11 countries all over the world and the UNWTO.
The workshop provided ideal platform to share knowledge and discuss on the current, pertinent topic of “data and statistics” and its role in sustainable tourism development.
The workshop held panel discussions, presentations, discussions and sharing on different aspects of “tourism data and statistics” and also presented ideas on easing access to big data and the challenges and solutions for the same. The workshop helped develop vision and perspective on how the world tourism industry could progress to become transparent, sustainable, eco friendly, resilient and inclusive for “People, Planet and Prosperity”.
Hon’ble Tourism Minister Sudhan Kirati was present during the opening ceremony and delivered a special address acknowledging the importance of tourism data and its use in for steady tourism recovery in the wake of the pandemic. He said the tourism data could be used to focus on products, investment, conservation, equal distribution of benefits, to build a path to sustainable, resilient and responsible tourism industry.
Similarly, speaking during the closing ceremony Hon’ble State Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Sushila Serpali Thakuri stressed on the value of data for opening new avenues in tourism, increasing international arrival figures, for developing the tourism sector. She also said the workshop was a milestone in directing through “better data for better tourism” in Asia and the Pacific.
Hon’ble Minister Kirati and Hon’ble State Minister Serpali also appreciated the initiative taken by Nepal and UNWTO to hold the high-profile important program in Nepal.
Director of External Relations of the UNWTO Mr. Beka Jakeli, emphasized on the use of real-time, robust data for effective planning and programs in tourism. He appealed to Nepal Government and all other governments for initiative on Tourism Satellite Account system that would help in central data collection through correct methods, processes, and relevant sources, for developing tourism.
NTB CEO Dr. Regmi the workshop helped in developing a common perspective and agenda on tourism, data and analytics among the world leaders in tourism. He said he was positive about the impact of real-time, authentic data, to evolve tourism and take it to the next level.
As per Director of NTB Mr. Maniraj Lamichhane the workshop included technical sessions like: developing governance system of tourism statistics; concepts, definitions, data sources and variables; Tourism Satellite Account system and its use. The workshop provided opportunities for sharing of individual country cases, including success stories and challenges related to tourism data collection and use.
Representatives from India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Maldives, Indonesia, Iran, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Thailand, Spain and Nepal, participated in the workshop.
UNWTO has been conducting tourism programs in different parts of the world and this is one of the first programs to be held in Nepal. Holding of this high-profile workshop in Kathmandu has increased visibility of Nepal as a potential destination for regional and international conventions.
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