Most of the statistical information provided on tourism is primarily based on arrivals and overnight stay statistics. A Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a statistical accountant framework aiming at determining the contribution of tourism to countries’ economy by measuring the goods and services according to international standards. This allows valid comparisons from country to country in a consistent manner.
The Flemish Community of Belgium has measured how much of the region’s economy is based on tourism, using the United Nations approved Tourism Satellite Account (TSA).
Results have been announced during the visit of the UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai that took place from 12th to 13th March 2012. Data show that tourism in the Flemish Community and Brussels-Capital contributed 12.6 billion euros, or 5.3% of total gross value added to the economy.
The UNWO Secretary-General underlined that “Over the past few years, UNWTO has been working to address the specific challenges facing regional tourism, including how to analyze tourism flows and measure their economic impact at this level. Adapting the TSA at the regional level is a major step forward in this regard” and he congratulated “the Flemish Community on becoming one of the first regions in the world to do so”.
The Flemish Minister of Tourism, Geert Bourgeois stated that “Flanders is the first region from the European Union with TSA-figures. To determine the value of these figures and percentages it is important to compare them with similar figures from other countries”.