7.78. It is possible to survey non-residents travelling in the compiling economy either in places of accommodation (hotels and other kinds of accommodation) or in sites of tourism interest. Although that type of procedures presents some limitations, many countries use it as an alternative or complement in cases in which border control systems are incomplete or unreliable. The information ideally to be collected is outlined in box 7.1. It could also be used to collect quantitative and qualitative information on mode 2 or mode 4, as deemed relevant.
7.79. The first challenge is to identify the non-residents among the guests of the means of accommodation. In the case of the observation of such persons at the collective accommodation, two major limitations usually exist. First, not all stay at a collective accommodation. Studies in many countries have shown that the form of accommodation is a determinant of average expenditure per day, so that such a variable observed for those staying at a collective accommodation cannot be extrapolated to others. Another limitation is associated with the fact that when surveying at places of accommodation, the travellers have not yet terminated their stay; as their total expenditure is not uniformly spread over the whole duration, their average expenditure per day cannot be extrapolated to their expected length of stay. Additionally, a person on a unique trip might use more than one hotel, a situation that alters the probability of being selected.
7.80. There are similar drawbacks in the case of surveys at visitor attractions, namely, that not all persons travelling visit those attractions, the probability of visiting an attraction is not known and a given person might visit more than one attraction. As a consequence, information based on surveys at visitor attractions could be biased. Any information derived for the whole population should take into account such a bias.
7.81. Finally, complementary data could be collected on specific sets of the population travelling. This could be particularly relevant for medical patients or students. Indeed, given the particular characteristics and expenditure patterns of some categories of persons, it may be relevant to capture information through a dedicated survey, e.g., an expenditure survey of foreign students (other than education fees, if those can be collected through other more relevant means).