4.33. For issues relevant to their countries, many Balance‑of‑Payments compilers have developed methods of estimation based on information collected from railway companies or airlines. It is important that compilers of tourism statistics understand and participate in the estimation procedure so that they can apply the results properly. The data derived from these procedures, however, may not be sufficiently detailed for the purpose of making specific adjustments to the information collected from surveys of visitors and assigning them to the different categories of tourism expenditure, because, the Balance of Payments is concerned only with global data. This distribution will possibly require some types of adjustments in the data and the final presentation within the table recommended by the TSA (if relevant). It is also to be remembered that tourism statistics (which, basically, are compiled for the purpose of setting up a TSA) use the net valuation principle for reservation services (see IRTS 2008, paras. 6.46-6.54), which is not the case. Either in the Balance of Payments or, necessarily, in National Accounts (see TSA: RMF 2008, paras. 3.21-3.24).
Imputation in the Statistics Canada International Travel Survey Program
In the International Travel Survey (ITS), missing transportation fares and/or total travel expenses are imputed when the other fields of the questionnaire are valid. The imputed values for such a questionnaire are calculated from the mean of the corresponding fields of the other questionnaires sharing some identical key characteristics with the given questionnaire.
Target populations (American, overseas and Canadian international travellers) are partitioned into Port Factor Groups (PFGs), based on selected traveller characteristics, such as country of residence, mode of entry and duration of stay. Total imputation (i.e., imputation of complete questionnaires) is carried out for all PFGs or strata that are outside the scope of questionnaire distribution. There are 120 Canadian and American PFGs for which Statistics Canada never receives questionnaires. These imputed questionnaires accounted for only 4.4 percent of all United States travellers to Canada and 1.2 percent of Canadian residents travelling outside Canada.
Imputation of questionnaires is required only for Canadian and United States travellers. Total imputation is also performed for any in‑scope PFG for which an insufficient number of questionnaires have been received for the quarter. In these instances, all the questionnaires from the same quarter of the previous year that belong to the PFG are brought forward and added to the sample of that PFG for the reference quarter. If necessary, additional total imputation is also performed for United States car travellers by States of origin to meet minimum requirements (combination of minimum number of questionnaires and maximum weight) based on the frontier counts.
Source: Statistics Canada.
4.41. A challenge that needs to be considered irrespective of the approach is that of differentiating between wholesalers and retailers, who may either purchase pre‑packaged tours or package them themselves, and, between their respective margins on the various products. As tourism statistics encompass matters involving only direct contact with visitors, the retailers’ margin but not the wholesalers’ should be included.
Box IV.2 Treatment T
reatment of package tours in the Balance of Payments: example of Austria
In Austria, the main source for collecting data on expenditure on goods and services for outbound trips is the quarterly sample survey dealing with holiday and business trips. The outcome of this survey encompasses the expenditure for outbound travel.
However, the amount of expenditure also includes components that must be allocated to domestic tourism (e.g., the travel agency fee for services rendered). Thus, owing to conceptual and methodological factors, these arises a discrepancy with respect to the Balance‑of‑Payments Travel item (T-BoP), which covers the collection of expenditure abroad. Therefore, these domestic components have to be isolated in order for these to be consistency with the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the physical travel destination may not coincide with the actual monetary flow, as in the case where tour operators located in third countries are involved. Indeed, in the many cases where tour operators located in Germany or the United Kingdom organize package tours for Austrian residents, the monetary flows do not coincide with the physical travel destinations but rather with the official location of the tour operators. According to IMF recommendations, passenger transport has to be accounted for separately and is not part of the Travel item in the Balance of Payments as conceived in its narrower sense. Therefore, as package products in many cases include a transportation item, it is necessary to separate these products into their components to at least isolate the international transport item.
Given that the sample survey is demand‑related, necessary adjustments relating to package products need to be made namely:
As these operations cannot be accomplished by using only the information from the sample survey, additional information from business providers is needed. This supply‑oriented information is used to establish a disaggregation model so as to enable the expenditure amount of package tours to be separated into sub‑aggregates, which can then be adjusted according to T-BoP requirements.
It should be emphasized that this method is adapted to compilation conditions in Austria and should therefore be viewed as one input into further discussion on the issue of package tours.
More information on how Statistics Austria treats package tours within the travel item of the Balance of Payments can be found in the Eurostat Methodological Manual for Tourism Statistics, version 1.2.
Source: Statistics Austria (2013).
Statistics on products in the services sector: example of Spain
The form of the organization of a trip is a characteristic of the trip which is usually collected in demand surveys and enables an evaluation of the volume and importance of the package tours. In Spain, this variable is included in household surveys (La encuesta de monumentos turísticos de los Españoles (FAMILITUR)) and in frontier surveys (La encuesta de movimientos turísticos en fronteras (FRONTUR) and La encuesta de gasto turístico (EGATUR)).
The information related to package tours, collected from the demand side, is highly useful. However, the supply survey approach, where this information is directly provided by the companies that develop these products, should not be neglected.
Information from the supply side is best for elaborating various elements of great significance in characterizing tour packages, such as their composition (services included) and their marketing circuit.
In order to obtain this information, Spain’s National Statistics Institute has developed a specific module for travel agencies through on which certain data related to package tours are collected. This survey is included in Statistics on Products in the Service Sector, which is part of the Annual Services Survey.
For travel agency and tour operator activities, the available information is divided into three sections:
The data derived from this survey can be applied to some of the tasks associated with the TSA framework (e.g., the unbundling of package tours).