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Tourism Statistics

(updated 16 September 2014)

An important task of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) is supporting the establishing and developing of tourism statistics based on the mandate given by the Statistical Commission. In this effort UNSD started cooperating with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and executed projects to support this task.

The important milestones in this work are the drafting of recommendations on tourism statistics and tourism satellite accounts (and their update if needed) and compilation guidance for tourism statistics.


Recommendations on tourism statistics

International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics (IRTS 2008)

An important milestone of the work was the drafting of the Recommendations on Tourism Statistics which was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission in 1993 and published 1994. The updating process was executed by UNWTO in close cooperation with UNSD, ILO and other members of EGTS. The manual, International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 was adopted by the Statistical Commission in 2008.

Draft IRTS 2008: Compilation Guide Now Available

When it adopted the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 (IRTS 2008) at its thirty-ninth session, in 2008, the Statistical Commission requested the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) to develop an implementation programme, including the preparation of a compilation guide providing further details of the recommendations as well as good country practices. A worldwide consultation on the full draft guide was held in March and April 2011. Comments and revisions were incorporated into a final editorial review, with the UNWTO Committee on Statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account endorsing the final version of the guide during its 14th meeting, in January 2014. The draft Guide was submitted to the United Nations Statistical Commission at its forty-fifth session in 2014, which endorsed its use by Member States.

>> More on the worldwide consultation and drafting process


Tourism satellite account

Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework (TSA: RMF 2008)

Another important milestone was the preparation of the manual by a working group convened by UNSD with the participation of Eurostat, OECD and UNWTO. The manual "Tourism Satellite Accounts" was adopted by the Statistical Commision in 2008. The updating process was undertaken by UNWTO unter the scrutiny of the inter agency coordination group on Tourism Statistics.

The statistical Commission in 2008 took note of the revised manual "Tourism Satellite Accounts: Recommended Methodological Framework, 2008" and requested it to be made available in all of the official languages of the United Nations.