Country experience: Netherlands: survey on outbound business travel

7.33.            Statistics Netherlands has purchased a new survey on business travel to measure expenditure. It has also extended the list of purposes of the trip, which could be  related to mode 4. The Continuous Business Travel survey (CBS) is a web-based survey for outbound business travel that uses the database of TNS-NIPO, a Dutch survey agency, consisting of more than 150,000 people. CBS is held every second year with one retrospective measurement executed each quarter in that year. CBS measures business trips with overnight stays as well as same-day trips and the number of travellers. The sample consists of Dutch residents aged 18 years and older, identified as members of the working population who took at least one business trip abroad in the period of review. Each quarter, 10,000 panel members from the TNS-NIPO database receive a screening question to determine if they belong to the sample. Out of that group,  1,000 Dutch residents receive a complete electronic questionnaire, in the form of a computer-assisted web-based interview, due within two weeks.  The responses to questions on gender, age, region, municipality and education of interviewees who report having gone abroad during the review period, are grossed up to reflect the totality of the Dutch working population. 

7.34.             The extended section of the questionnaire regarding the purpose of the trip can be related to mode 4. It suggests 15 types of activity conducted abroad, including marketing and sales, installation and repair, research, teaching and consultancy, visit to clients and visit to head office or branches, as well as variables for the nature of employment (self-employed, employee and civil servant). Additionally, the survey contains variables on education level and professional group, including farmer,  professional with a higher education degree and  owner of an enterprise. 

7.35.            By means of the extended questionnaire, the group of business travellers providing services abroad can be narrowed down in the sample, giving initial indications of the number of relevant persons. Such information could be linked to the value of services in the respective service category. However, to derive statistics on mode 4 transactions, one would need to make assumptions, in particular on the extent of the activity. The business travel survey provides some initial indications of the number of persons carrying out activities abroad as well as the allocation of the activities to service categories. For analytical and trade negotiation purposes, the partner country (destination country of the trip) might be interesting, as well (the questionnaire contains a separate question on which countries were visited during the business trip abroad). Considering confidentiality issues and the sample size, mode of supply data could be presented or aggregated to broader economic or geographical categories, such as European Union countries or other countries in Europe, Asia or Africa, or the parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


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