Strengthening national STSs

[....] Although it is the countries' responsibility to carry out the development of the STS, the UNWTO recommends this should follow the Basic Principles of Official Statistics approved by the United Nations Statistical Commission (11/15 April 1994).

Those principles provide guidelines for establishing and maintaining a credible STS and therefore, the use of such principles should be understood as a necessary condition to maintain users' confidence in tourism statistics and, particularly, to help guaranteeing the integrity, transparency and confidentiality of the individual data and the public access to the available statistics.

UNWTO has developed specific initiatives to promote greater credibility and comparability of tourism statistics in areas where it could have a comparative advantage: these consist exclusively of two demand-side variables (arrivals/departures by non-residents and expenditure associated to inbound tourism), on which general guidelines have been drawn up in order to provide the statistical instruments considered ideal for the great majority of countries (this is the case of our proposed model border surveys).

Also, albeit with much lower ambitions, minimal guidelines have been drawn up for those countries that due to various types of reasons (undoubtedly, limited availability of budgetary resources is the most common) consider the use of tourism modules in surveys in which it is possible to do so (basically, these are household surveys for the purpose of research on household budgets).

Lastly, and specifically regarding the usefulness of administrative and tax records, a comparative study has been carried out in various OECD countries which highlights the importance of statistics based on this type of records for the purpose the structural analysis of the tourism industries and for monitoring the situation of tourism activity on the demand side.

Aside from these contributions, others have also attracted the attention of the UNWTO Statistics Department and have been published as special issues in the “Enzo Paci Papers on Measuring the Economic Significance of Tourism”.

Volume 3 includes four contributions on the topic “Using Household Surveys for Measuring Domestic Tourism”:

The topic “Revision of series in tourism statistics” was dealt with in volume 4, including the following contributions: