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last updated: 6/17/2013

Data Pathfinders: Tourism Statistics

Electronic Sources | Print Sources




Electronic Sources

United States

Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
This office (part of the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration) is the primary collector of data on American tourists abroad and foreign tourism in America. Data on American tourists include the annual number of visitors by country of destination, while data on foreign tourists include the top city and state destinations by number of visitors, economic impact on those locales, and a breakdown of foreign tourists by country of origin. Both current (with a 1-2 year time lag) and historical statistics are available.


OECD

OECD Tourism Statistics
This webpage links to reports, guidelines, and datasets pertaining to tourism statistics in OECD (major developed) countries. Of special interest is the 1997 report, "Tourism Policy and International Tourism in OECD Countries," which presents data on international tourist flows and tourism receipts and expenditures in OECD Member countries, and highlights trends in international tourism in 1995.


Canada

Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada publishes several annual statistical tables on tourism to and from Canada. This includes the top 15 countries and US states visited by Canadian tourists (including number of trips and dollars spent), and the top 15 countries and US states of origin for visitors to Canada (with the same information). Most tables contain historical data for the preceding five years in addition to the current year.


United Kingdom

Office for National Statistics
Produced by the Office for National Statistics, this website contains a variety of reports and statistical tables related to tourism in England and by English people. Publications range from quarterly to annual to irregular in frequency. Data include number of trips by country, purpose, and mode of travel, spending abroad by British tourists, and spending in England by foreign tourists. Data are either available for selected years or in continuous time series for the past 5-10 years.

Germany

Federal Statistical Office
This governmental department publishes statistics on visitors to Germany, including overnights in accommodation units and campgrounds as well as overall arrivals. Their website primarily contains information on the current year and the past 3 years. Breakdowns of visitors are available by origin country, type of accommodation, state, and major city.

Australia

Tourism Research Australia
Tourism Research Australia is a government-funded organization that conducts research into tourism and its economic impacts. Its data is largely historical in nature, but provides exhaustive coverage of international visitors to Australia, including trips by purpose, spending by item, and nights by type of accommodation. Their website also provides helpful links to other Australian resources for tourism statistics.

Tourism Australia—Research and Statistics
This department of the Australian government compiles research and statistics on tourism, predominantly focused on international tourists. Its data are impressively up-to-date and include profiles of foreign visitors to Australia, monthly counts of arrivals by origin country, and studies of the economic impacts on Australia (based on satellite account data).




Print Sources

Note: Some locations of print materials may have changed. Consult IUCAT for current locations.


  • Caribbean Tourism Organization. Caribbean Tourism Statistical Reports.
    [East Tower 2 (ET2), G155.C35 C37]

    These well-designed annual statistical reports contain a treasure trove of data on tourist visits to each island in the Caribbean Sea. Information includes annual arrivals by country of origin, monthly arrivals, monthly cruise passenger arrivals, visitor spending, and accommodation statistics for each island. Most data are displayed for the most recent year plus the preceding five. IU has print copies of these reports for each year back to 1998.

  • Department of Commerce. Statistical Abstract of the United States.
    [ET2, Reference, C3.134 2003]

    This venerable US statistical reference includes several valuable tables on both US and foreign tourism, covering either the most recent year or a 5-7 year historical time series. Data on US tourists include annual counts of trips by foreign country or region, while data on international visitors to the US include expenditures, top city and state destinations, and a detailed breakdown of foreign visitors by country of residence. A later table takes a more worldly perspective, depicting international tourism arrivals, expenditures and receipts for over 30 major countries. Note that some tables count travel for ALL purposes (both business and pleasure), so be careful to note the scope of the statistics.

  • Economics Research Associates. Economic impacts of the tourism industry in Indiana.
    [ET2, G155.U6 E297 1990]

    Although somewhat dated, this report contains useful data in its appendix disaggregating the economic impact of tourism by Indiana county. In addition to data on visitations and lodging visits by county, the appendix shows county-level economic impacts by type of establishment (i.e., retail, eating/drinking, entertainment, and lodging), direct tax effects, and employment/wage impacts.

  • Europa Publications. The Europa World Year Book.
    [ET2 Reference Desk, JN 1 .E89]

    This exhaustive two-volume reference work presents statistical profiles of the world’s countries in alphabetical order. Included in the vast majority of these profiles is a table depicting foreign tourist arrivals by country of origin for the past three years (allowing for a couple years of publishing lag). Many of the tourist tables are also footnoted with other information, such as the most recent year’s tourism receipts in millions of US dollars. While the book’s organization is not suited to collecting these statistics for a large number of countries, you may find this a convenient starting point if you’re focusing on only a handful of nations.

  • OECD. National and international tourism statistics, 1974-1985.
    [ET2, G155.A1 N385 1989]

    Although somewhat dated, this weighty compendium of tourism statistics for about 25 OECD nations is valuable for providing long time series on each of its variables (typically 10 years or more). The book is divided into sections on national and international tourism, and within each section are numerous data tables for each country analyzed. Country-level statistics include tourist arrivals by country of origin, tourism receipts and expenditures, and breakdowns by transportation and accommodation type.

  • OECD, Tourism policy and international tourism in OECD countries.
    [ET2, G55.A1 O66]

    The Government Information, Maps and Microform Services collection contains two older print editions of the 1997 report available on the OECD’s website (listed in the Electronic Resources section): one for 1992-93 and another for 1993-94. Following lengthy descriptive essays, a lengthy annex of statistical tables portrays the state of tourism in major OECD nations during those two-year periods, including number of arrivals by origin country and nights spent in accommodations.

  • Plunkett’s airline, hotel & travel industry almanac.
    [Available electronically through IUCAT, or at Business/SPEA G155.U6 P586]

    This resource is available as an electronic book by clicking on its record in IUCAT. The most relevant chapter is one on “travel statistics,” containing a multitude of useful data tables on tourism as well as performance measures for the airline and hotel industries. Tables pertaining to tourism include rankings of the top 15 nations by tourism revenue, tourism spending, inbound and outbound visits, and estimated economic impacts. Along with current and some historical data, this source offers some forecasts for US and world tourism in 2020.

  • United Nations. Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific.
    [ET2 Reference, HA 1665 .S73]

    This volume is organized by country rather than sector (such as tourism), but most country profiles include a table of tourism data. Variables covered may include number of tourists, average length of stay, average tourist expenditure per day, total tourism receipts, and hotel occupancy percentages, although the precise variables differ by nation. This is a nice first source if you want time series data on a few Asian countries, since the last 10 years of statistics are presented.

  • Wilkie, James W. (Ed.). Statistical Abstract of Latin America.
    [ET2 Reference, HA 931 .C15]

    Among this volume’s vast array of statistical tables on the Latin American nations is a lengthy chapter containing migration and tourism data. This section contains relatively long historical time series on a variety of tourism-related variables by country, including tourism receipts, visitor gross expenditures, receipts by country of origin, balance of payments in the tourism sector, number of arrivals, average length of stay, and hotel room and bed counts. Unfortunately, although a large historical span is covered, the tables tend to cut off between 7-10 years ago.

  • World Bank. World Development Indicators.
    [ET2 Reference Desk, HC 59.69 .W68]

    This widely-used statistical reference source has a brief but densely-packed section on world tourism. For every nation of the world, the tourism tables show number of inbound and outbound tourists, international tourism receipts, and international tourism expenditures. These figures are available for the most recently collected year and for 1990 as a reference point, to reveal growth trends over time. Although certain data items are missing for some countries, the coverage is impressively comprehensive.

    These figures can also be obtained electronically from the "WDI Online" database, which can be accessed via the library's Find Information page. The advantage of the online version is that you can query out data for all years from 1990 onward, giving you a nice continuous time series to work with.

  • World Tourism Organization, market profiles and tourism reports.
    [ET2 Microfiche, IIS number 2970]

    This specialized agency within the United Nations is the leading international organization in the field of tourism. They produce numerous tourism reports and forecasts, along with annual statistical compilations. IU receives a fraction of their annual output on microfiche through its subscription to the Index for International Statistics; these fiche primarily contain tourism profiles of specific nations and reports on the regional economic impacts of tourism. Ask a librarian of Government Information, Maps and Microform Services to show you the latest microfiche in this area. If you're interested in international tourism stats, you may wish to purchase the WTO's annual reports direct from their website.

  • World Tourism Organization. Tourism highlights 2000.
    [Business/SPEA library, G155.A1 T685 2000]

    As an example of the reports published by the WTO, this brief volume is densely packed with worldwide tourism statistics. Data tables include the top destinations by arrival, arrivals by country of origin, and the top 15 nations in terms of tourism receipts and expenditures. Most tables cover either the past two or the past five years, although some present selected years from further back in time. This resource's most valuable contribution are the tables in its back pages, which supply detailed statistics on tourist arrivals and monetary receipts for a broad spectrum of countries, including many in Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and other developing regions.


last updated: 6/17/2013