8.43. This Compilation Guide advises countries to review the good practices described below and implement them as applicable, taking into account the specificity of their national statistical systems. The practices described might be of particular interest to countries that are at the early stages of the development of their System of Tourism Statistics. These practices include the following:
(a) Specific formal agreements should be established between the NTA, the NSO and other institutions that are relevant in each national situation. These agreements should cover, inter alia, such topics as (i) responsibility for developing methodology, including the incorporation of the international recommendations contained in IRTS 2008 and TSA: RMF 2008; (ii) timing of the conduct of particular data‑collection activities; (iii) resources involved and cost‑sharing in data‑collection and dissemination of the official tourism statistics; (iv) rules of access to the survey results and microdata (including data anonymization) and relevant administrative records enabling the production of the necessary aggregates while preserving the confidentiality of individual data; and (v) quality standards. The agreements should cover not only governmental agencies, but also relevant private organizations;
(b) In order to support the sustainability in time of tourism statistics’ development efforts, countries may wish to establish an IIP consisting of agreements at two levels: the political and the technical. The higher (political) level body (which could carry the name of council, board or commission), would include the heads or deputies of the concerned bodies and would be chaired by the minister of tourism or his equivalent. The main responsibilities of the political‑level body would include: determining the basic policy issues and strategic direction, adoption of a long‑term plan for the development of the System of Tourism Statistics and the medium‑term work programme, and commitment for bringing together the necessary staff, technical capabilities, financial resources and political commitment. This body would review and give its approval to the results obtained at the different stages of the tourism statistics and TSA production process and formulate, and monitor the implementation of, the dissemination policy for tourism statistics;
(c) The technical‑level body (which could carry the name of “technical committee” or one similar) may be established as a second‑level body consisting of leading experts from the different participating institutions. It would be responsible for the coordination of the technical work involved, and might be chaired by the head of the NTA unit in charge of tourism statistics. Alternatively, it could be chaired by the head of the NSO unit in charge of tourism statistics or of National Accounts, or by any individual whose personal capacities clearly deem him or her fit to occupy this position. This person would be in charge of advising at the political level, and of the implementation and translation into technical terms of its programme of work. This technical‑level body should design a long‑term plan for the development of the System of Tourism Statistics which is to be presented to the political‑level body for its approval and political follow‑up. Further, cooperation of different areas within the NTA (e.g., including a minister or equivalent, the head of the unit in charge of tourism statistics or the head of research/analysis) and the NSO (e.g., including the chief statistician or the equivalent, or the head of the unit in charge of tourism statistics, National Accounts or business statistics) would be crucial in that respect;
(d) In addition, the technical‑level body may choose to form ad hoc technical working groups according to the different topics to be addressed. Creating these as needed, it should appoint their members and chairs, provide guidelines for their operations and specify expected output. The working groups would report to the technical‑level body which would reports in turn to the political‑level body. The working groups would comprise technical staff specializing in various relevant topics of interest and affiliated with the different institutions included in the IIP. Each of these ad hoc working groups would be chaired by the staff providing the best conditions for support of its operation according to the institution to which he or she belongs, or his or her personal capability and past experience in the matter at hand. The institutional links of Staff hired specially for the project should be clearly established.
8.44. It should be noted that, as regional cooperation in tourism statistics is a highly important initiative, the UNWTO fully endorses its strengthening. In this connection, countries might wish to consider establishing regional inter‑institutional political and technical bodies which would meet periodically, discuss common issues and agree on the terms of mutual assistance (see also Box VIII.5). In particular, such regional bodies might be instrumental in raising awareness and mobilizing political support and resources, adopting common methodological approaches (e.g., region‑specific classifications of characteristic products and activities), organizing regional “training the trainers” programmes and establishing regional tourism statistics websites (and databases). Such activities might improve significantly the efficiency of national STS and ensure a better comparability of national tourism statistics. In some cases, secretariats of the regional organizations might be in a position to enable maintaining, coordinating and controlling the agendas and commitments relevant to the development of tourism statistics. Such regional institutional arrangements will help UNWTO and other regional and international organizations provide policy guidance and technical assistance more effectively.
8.45. The country experiences in institutional arrangements are diverse. Box VIII.6 and Box VIII.7 briefly describe coordination among different agencies and the work of an Inter‑institutional Platform in the Philippines and Canada, respectively. Readers who are interested in more detailed information are encouraged to consult the future e‑document for this Compilation Guide, to be available from the UNWTO website.