B.2.3. Classification of tourism expenditure
4.48. In order that demand by visitors for specific goods and services may be related to the supply of those goods and services in the economy, information on expenditure needs to be collected in disaggregated form and according to a common classification of goods and services (IRTS 2008, chapt. 4, sect. D). While in industrial statistics and in the National Accounts, products are usually analysed in classifications derived from the Central Product Classification, IRTS 2008 recommends that the collection of tourism expenditure data be carried out such a way as to make understanding and reporting as easy as possible for visitors.
4.49. IRTS 2008 thus recommends using a classification that allows visitors to group their expenditure according to purpose, namely, the Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP), which is commonly used for the description of personal consumption in general statistics and household surveys, and has the primary advantage of being linkable to CPC (which, in turn, enables linkage to supply‑side classifications) (see Chapter V).
The categories that are most commonly used, and recommended in IRTS 2008, are:
- Package travel, package holidays and package tours
- Food and drink
- Local transport
- International transport
- Recreation, culture and sporting activities
4.50. Measuring tourism expenditure within a consistent framework like the TSA entails both the use of aggregated categories (such as those in COICOP) and more detailed data for certain breakdowns of expenditure in order to enable the link to supply (see Chapter V for further information on classifications). If the intention is to ultimately link the expenditure data to supply‑side information (as in the case of the TSA), information from the above categories needs to be further broken down according to CPC, which is the classification used for the list of tourism characteristic products (see chapt. V, sect. C, and IRTS 2008, para. 5.18).
4.51. Because flows and expenditure are often observed at different moments in time (paras. 3.66 and 4.6), and in order to measure total inbound tourism expenditure, expenditure data need to be assigned to data on flows.
4.52. With regards to inbound tourism expenditure, Balance‑of‑Payments figures for the “travel” and “passenger transport” items are used extensively as a first approximation. IRTS 2008 (paras. 8.22-8.25) explicitly recommends that tourism statistics allow tourism‑related expenditure to be identified under “travel” and “passenger transport” as a item supplementary to the standard Balance‑of‑Payments component. The supplementary breakdown proposed in BPM6 for this purpose (goods, local transportation services, accommodation service, food serving services and other services) conforms fairly well with that of COICOP, although the differentiation between goods and services may cut across the COICOP‑based categories (see paras. 5.9-5.16).