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Country experience: Austria

14.222.        In Austria, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and Statistics Austria run a joint survey for tourism expenditure and the travel item. For collecting or compiling domestic, outbound and inbound tourism, an accommodation statistics survey (covering inbound and domestic) and a sample survey are used. The two basic surveys cover all forms of tourism with respect to the physical flows. For variables for inbound expenditure, the T-Mona survey, designed for basic tourism statistics, is used. The sets of basic statistics stemming from the three surveys are followed by compound statistics from the TSA and the T-BOP, which, together, provide key measurements. 

14.223.        Since it is possible to isolate such travel components as seasonal and border workers, students, medical patients and those crossing the border but remaining within their usual environment, T-BOP data can be used as key measurements for the TSA. The TSA uses several other data sources, including accommodation statistics survey, the sample survey and the T-Mona. The T-BOP that goes beyond the concept of tourism statistics also uses tourism statistics as inputs. The T-BOP serves as input for compiling the rest of the world account, delivering bridge tables for private consumption and identifying business travel, which is seen as production input in the national accounts. 

14.224.        Reconciliation of basic tourism statistics  The selection of the T-Mona sample is based on accommodation statistics, as those data are available on a detailed geographical level. Those data are further used for weighting and grossing up. In addition, the questionnaires are harmonized in major fields, so, for example, the same categories are used in both sets of accommodation statistics. The accommodation statistics do not incorporate stays at the homes of friends and relatives, but as that information is included in the T-Mona survey, inputs from the accommodation statistics are used to establish the proper sample basis.

14.225.        The sample survey and T-Mona questionnaires are harmonized according to accommodation establishments and other definitions, according to the tourism concept. The data sources of both the sample survey and accommodation statistics survey cover domestic tourism. Therefore, the outcomes, at least for the physical flows of the number of overnights and arrivals of Austrian residents in Austria, are cross checked. 

14.226.        The BOP travel item and tourism statistics are reconciled on both the credit and debit sides of T-BOP as follows: 

(a) Credit side of the T-BOP The first major data source for the compilation of the credit side of the T-BOP is T-Mona questionnaire, as it delivers the average expenditure of non-resident tourists in Austria in paid and non-paid accommodation establishments. The expenditure questions in the T-Mona meet T-BOP needs and are harmonized with concepts used in BPM6 and MSITS 2010. The second major data source for the compilation of the credit side of the T-BOP is the accommodation survey, which delivers the population of non-resident tourists in paid accommodation establishments by country of origin. However, due to survey restrictions, the number of countries directly surveyed is limited to 60. In contrast to that limited geographical breakdown, the T-BOP considers data from credit and debit card companies delivered by the OeNB and, therefore, delivers detailed information about the geographical breakdown. Therefore, that data can be used to further break down the accommodation statistics geographically on the basis of expenditure data; 

(b) Debit side of the T-BOP  The major data source for the compilation of the debit side of the T-BOP is a sample survey. As that sample survey is based on the tourism concept, harmonized questions are implemented to meet the needs of the travel concept of the T-BOP. Besides the differentiation between business and personal travel, same-day visitors are also included; T-BOP does not distinguish between lengths of stay, as only the expenditure variable is important. Credit and debit card data, which are implemented in the T-BOP, are used for doing plausibility checks with the outcome of the sample survey. The data are also used to create a detailed geographical breakdown of the sample survey, since in the sample survey, the geographical breakdown is limited to approximately 10 because of sampling error. That reconciliation exercise helps to overcome the limits of the sample survey.


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