Tourism Satellite Account for Poland

Since 1998 I am a member of the Tourism Satellite Account research group. The main field of my interest is tourism employment.

The first experimental TSA for Poland was prepared in 1998 (Experimental Tourism Satellite Account for Poland, "Statistics in Transition" /A. Baran, E. Dziedzic, M. Kachniewska/, "Journal of the Polish Statistical Association", Vol. 4, No 2, June 1999).

Setting any effective economic policy and evaluating the condition of the national economy requires reliable information describing ongoing processes. It was in response to that need that a system of national accounts was created as an internally coherent set of tables describing macroeconomic developments.

The set is based on terms, classifications and accounting principles that have been agreed at the international level. The international framework used by countries to compile their own national accounts is known as SNA 1993 – a system of accounts recommended by the United Nations. Poland implemented the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995), which is a modification of the aforementioned SNA 1993 recommended by the European Union.

The standard system of national accounts is primarily focused on the analysis of macroeconomic processes. In many cases more specific information is required, in particular for the purposes of formulating economic policies. For example, it refers to those areas of economy which do not form separate concepts within institutional sectors, activities, products or services.

Tourism is one of such areas. It is for these phenomena that satellite accounts methodology was proposed, to be both closely related to the core system of national accounts and at the same time tailored to specific information needs. An initiative to develop the tourism satellite account emerged at a relatively early stage, in view of the importance of tourism as a sector of economy at the global and national level, as well as due to the lack of tools for its analysis within the framework of the core system of national accounts.

As satellite accounts for tourism are concerned, several frameworks were developed: initiatives in this respect were presented by the OECD, WTO-OMT and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The proposed accounts adopted different solutions with consequent significant differences between the results they yielded. For this reason, the OECD and the World Tourism Organization decided to co-ordinate their efforts and propose a common methodology. Such methodology was adopted and published in 2001 by the World Tourism Organization, the OECD and Eurostat, and has been recommended by the European Union as an instrument for measuring the effect of tourism on the national economy of the Member States.

In comparison with the methodology developed by the OECD, which was employed for the TSA 2000, the common methodology differed in the edition of tables; key concepts, the scope of the account and the classifications remained unchanged. Stress was also shifted for the principal objective of the account: in the OECD methodology, the objective was to measure key macroeconomic aggregates describing the contribution of tourism to the national economy, whereas in the case of the methodology proposed by the OECD, WTO and Eurostat, a detailed supply and consumption analysis was brought to the fore.

In view of the above, the Polish TSA has been compiled as a combination of both methodologies: it includes nine tables which generally comply with the new methodology, and has been complemented with tables which allow for comparison of results in both account editions. This refers to the table which presents contribution of tourism to the GDP and the table presenting information on assets involved in the supply of tourism-related products.