Truth-checking cupboard minister about tourism’s worth to Kenyan financial system
Kenya’s tourism business has, like that of many different international locations, had a horror 12 months, with some official projections estimating losses may attain as a lot as KSh13.5 billion (US$125 million).
Describing the business as “on its knees”, tourism minister Najib Balala on World Tourism Day in September 2020 known as for extra funding.
Restrictions put in place within the nation as a result of Covid-19 pandemic have been regularly rolled again, with worldwide flights resuming on 1 August.
Because the nation works to rebuild tourism, we fact-checked two vital claims made by Balala in Might 2020 about its worth to the nation.
We reached out to the minister to ask for the supply of those figures and can replace this report ought to he reply.
For knowledge on how totally different sectors contribute to Kenya’s financial system, John Kinuthia directed us to the annual financial survey from the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics. Kinuthia is a senior programme officer on the Worldwide Funds Partnership, a public finance thinktank.
The information from the statistics workplace exhibits that in 2019, the largest contribution to Kenya’s gross home product, or GDP, was by agriculture.
“Agriculture remained the dominant sector, accounting for barely over a 3rd of the overall worth of the financial system,” the company stated within the 2020 version of the survey.
The rising of crops contributed 27.8% to GDP. When animal manufacturing, agriculture help providers, fishing, forestry and logging have been additionally thought of, this share rose to 34.1%.
The information confirmed different key contributors have been transport and storage (8.5%), wholesale and retail commerce (7.6%) and manufacturing at 7.5%.
However the survey doesn’t have knowledge on the GDP contribution of tourism, Kinuthia famous. Africa Examine requested the statistics workplace why this was the case.
The bureau had no knowledge on tourism’s contribution as a result of it “cuts throughout many sectors”, Collins Omondi, the performing director basic, stated.
This included lodging, air journey, transport and the service business. Solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account would precisely present the contribution of tourism to the GDP, Omondi stated, including that Kenya’s Tourism Analysis Institute was engaged on capturing this knowledge. Native media have additionally reported this.
A satellite tv for pc account is a extensively accepted and complete measure of tourism’s financial worth.
Most sources estimate tourism’s contribution to GDP under 10%
Different knowledge sources nevertheless counsel tourism makes a much smaller contribution to the Kenyan financial system. These embrace:
One of many extra detailed estimates is from the World Journey and Tourism Council, a London-based non-profit organisation that represents the personal sector. In a March 2020 factsheet, it gave the contribution of tourism and journey to Kenya’s GDP as 8.2%, citing the UN and nationwide sources.
This estimate can be used in an undated World Financial institution report assessing tourism’s contribution to the Kenyan financial system. However the report says the determine could give a “partial image” because it “neglect[s] impacts of multipliers in addition to dynamic results on financial construction”.
Accessible proof doesn’t help minister’s declare
We requested the worldwide tourism council the way it calculated the estimate on Kenya. It despatched us its methodology, which confirmed it thought of the direct, oblique and “induced” contribution of tourism to the GDP.
This spanned lodging, meals, transport, cultural and sports activities providers. For oblique contributions, it included “all private and non-private investments” in tourism comparable to infrastructure, advertising and marketing, aviation and safety.
In international locations the place there have been knowledge gaps, the organisation stated these have been crammed by “supplementing knowledge with estimates derived from the standard relationship between the lacking data and different financial and journey and tourism indicators”. (Learn the complete report right here.)
Whereas solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account would give a definitive estimate of tourism’s contribution to GDP, there is no such thing as a proof to help minister Balala’s determine of 24%.
We subsequently charge his declare as incorrect.
This declare was additionally shared on the minister’s social media accounts. The newest knowledge on employment from the nationwide statistics workplace exhibits that 18.1 million individuals have been employed in Kenya in 2019. Of those, 3.1 million individuals have been formally employed.
The minister’s determine would work out to a share of no less than 9%. (Notice: The employment determine of 18.1 million didn’t embrace small scale farming and pastoral actions.)
Solely a tourism satellite tv for pc account may precisely compute how many individuals have been employed within the sector, Collins Omondi, the performing director basic of the Kenya Nationwide Bureau of Statistics, instructed Africa Examine.
Different knowledge we discovered suggests the minister was extra correct with this declare.
Tourism accounted for a median of 9% of direct personal and public sector employment between 1995 and 2001, in keeping with a 2009 paper on the financial contribution of tourism in Kenya.
Dr Elisabeth Valle, who co-authored the research, instructed Africa Examine she didn’t have newer knowledge. She is a lecturer within the division of utilized economics on the College of the Balearic Islands in Spain.
Valle directed us to the tourism satellite tv for pc account as one of the best supply of data on unemployment. However the obtainable knowledge solely covers international locations from the Organisation for Financial Cooperation and Growth, of which Kenya is just not a member. We additionally got here up empty with the UN’s World Tourism Group.
The tourism ministry’s personal 2018-22 plan provides whole unemployment at 9.2%, whereas a draft nationwide tourism coverage says it’s 10%.
In March 2020, the World Journey and Tourism Council gave the identical estimate because the minister, of 1.6 million individuals.
Africa Examine has beforehand outlined the challenges of defining a job and capturing the casual sector. Within the absence of a tourism satellite tv for pc account we can’t positively say the minister is right, however his numbers right here seem near what the obtainable proof exhibits.
We’ll subsequently be beneficiant and charge this declare as principally right.
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