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4.104.                  As observed in Chapter III with respect to international comparability, UNWTO collects information annually from countries and territories all over the world. The following data is collected by UNWTO and is disseminated in the Compendium of Tourism Statistics, the Organization’s most comprehensive general statistical publication. 

Table IV.1 

Data disseminated by UNWTO in the Compendium of Tourism Statistics

4.105.                  Regarding inbound and outbound tourism expenditure, because some countries still do not compile tourism data, UNWTO uses data as much as possible from the Balance of Payments rather than tourism data to support international comparisons[1]. Nevertheless, Balance of Payments data however useful in this regard, should not be used in the overall tabulation of tourism statistics and should never be considered a substitute for tourism statistics. It is expected that, in time and as countries develop their Systems of Tourism Statistics, it will become possible to collect those countries’ actual inbound and outbound tourism expenditure data. 

4.106.                  It is understood that the usefulness of Balance of Payments data for national policy purposes is limited: they provide merely an approximation for tourism expenditure (see IRTS 2008, chap. 8, sect. B) and are not sufficiently detailed. A decrease in total tourism expenditure expressed in United States dollars, for instance, could be attributed to different causes, including a depreciation of the United States dollar or a change in the distribution of visitors and overnights. 

4.107.                  In the case of countries that conduct expenditure surveys, “average expenditure per day” is also requested for each form of tourism, in addition to the Balance of Payments data. This might be different from the Balance of Payment data and not fully reconcilable therewith. 

4.108.                  Besides these data and indicators, additional information useful to tourism stakeholders can include the following: 

  • Total expenditure by country of residence (total and by category of consumption expenditure (see para. 4.49) 
  • Total expenditure by purpose of visit (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Total expenditure by main type of accommodation (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Total expenditure cross‑classified by country of residence, purpose of visit and main type of accommodation (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Average expenditure per person per day by country of residence (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Average expenditure per person per day by purpose of visit (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Average expenditure per person per day by main type of accommodation (total and by categories of consumption expenditure) 
  • Average expenditure per person per day, cross‑classified by country of residence, purpose of visit and main type of accommodation


[1] The source is IMF Balance of Payments Statistics.