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Paper 25th September 2002 - TTSAC(02)7Annex

Annex to TTSAC ( 02 ) 7 - Developments in Tourism Statistics in Scotland - progress report

1. Scottish Tourism Research Forum

The Forum co-ordinates statistics and research on tourism in Scotland. visitscotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, attend; Scottish Executive is represented by policy planners, economists and statisticians. A large part of research is undertaken by visitscotland which fund the national surveys (UK Tourism Survey, and Day Visits Survey), and on a Scottish level the Accommodation Occupancy Survey as well as a range of marketing and industry studies. In England it has also been decided to establish a Tourism Research Forum with industry representation. This may take on an UK role.

2. Framework for Action and performance measurement

The research forum will assist with monitoring the progress on implementing this strategy and ensure that performance indicators (including those from the Spending Review) are available.

3. Tourism contribution to GDP

Tourism expenditure has often been expressed as a percentage of GDP. This overstates the impact of tourism in Scotland on the Scottish economy, as a proportion of the expenditure will lead to imports. As a rule of thumb the Department of Culture, Media and Sports suggest that the contribution to GVA of tourism expenditure is 60% of the money spent. Using the Scottish input/output tables the Executive has undertaken a preliminary analysis which highlighted the lack of suitable data for Scotland.

One of the targets for the Scottish Tourism industry is an increase of its contribution to GDP. To measure this effectively more detailed information is needed on the expenditure pattern of foreign and UK tourists in Scotland - the only information currently available is fairly old data on the expenditure pattern of foreign visitors to the UK.

Discussions are currently underway with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport if they would put forward this work as a pilot bid for funding from the European Union, to complement funding set aside by the Scottish Executive.

4. Tourism Satellite Accounts

The World Tourism Organisation advocates the use of Satellite Accounts for examining the economic effects of tourism. This would include outward tourism and use of durable and capital goods by tourists (such as leisure equipment, cars, roads, car parks, information centres etc).

The work noted above would contribute substantially to such an account. Some other countries have implemented aspects of a TSA. An UK wide workshop is being held in Glasgow in February 2003, with the Head of Statistics and Economic Measurement of the World Tourism Organisation and senior people from Spain and Canada.

5. Definition of Tourism

The European Commission Decision of 9 December 1998 defines the tourism statistics to be collected. There are differences between the two main tourism surveys in the UK in the way these definitions have been implemented, for example in the treatment of travel costs, drivers/air crew and maximum length of stay. Customarily figures from the International Passenger Survey and the UK Tourism Survey are added together although this may not always be appropriate. Work is underway to document differences.

Economist colleagues are establishing a long times series of tourism statistics for econometric modelling and are in contact with IPS statisticians to obtain a consistent series.

Gerhard Mors


Scottish Executive

Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department

11 September 2002