Understanding Tourism: Basic Glossary

Understanding Tourism: Basic Glossary

The glossary has been made possible thanks to the international community’s work on defining a new conceptual framework for measuring and analysing tourism economics; an effort that lasted almost three years (2005/2007). The international consensus that followed, in the form of United Nations approved International Recommendations, establishes the concepts, definitions, classifications and the basic set of data and indicators that should be part of any national System of Tourism Statistics.

Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which imply tourism expenditure.

As such, tourism has implications on the economy, on the natural and built environment, on the local population at the destination and on the tourists themselves. Due to these multiple impacts, the wide range and variety of production factors required to produce those goods and services acquired by visitors, and the wide spectrum of stakeholders involved or affected by tourism, there is a need for a holistic approach to tourism development, management and monitoring. This approach is strongly recommended in order to formulate and implement national and local tourism policies as well as the necessary international agreements or other processes in respect of tourism.


Business visitor
A business visitor is a visitor whose main purpose for a tourism trip corresponds to the business and professional category.


Country of reference
The country of reference refers to the country for which the measurement is done.

As a general observation, it should be noted that in the International Recommendations 2008:
(a) The term “country” can be transposed to a different geographical level using the term “place” instead (either a region, municipality or other subnational geographic location);
(b) The term “long-term” is used as the equivalent of a year or more and “short-term” as less than a year.


Country of residence
The country of residence of a household is determined according to the centre of predominant economic interest of its members. If a person resides (or intends to reside) for more than one year in a given country and has there his/her centre of economic interest (for example, where the predominant amount of time is spent), he/she is considered as a resident of this country.


Destination (main destination) of a trip
The main destination of a tourism trip is defined as the place visited that is central to the decision to take the trip. See also purpose of a tourism trip.


Domestic tourism
Comprises the activities of a resident visitor within the country of reference, either as part of a domestic tourism trip or part of an outbound tourism trip.


Economic analysis
Tourism generates directly and indirectly an increase in economic activity in the places visited (and beyond), mainly due to demand for goods and services that need to be produced and provided.

In the economic analysis of tourism, one may distinguish between tourism’s ‘economic contribution’ which refers to the direct effect of tourism and is measurable by means of the TSA, and tourism’s ‘economic impact’ which is a much broader concept encapsulating the direct, indirect and induced effects of tourism and which must be estimated by applying models.

Economic impact studies aim to quantify economic benefits, that is, the net increase in the wealth of residents resulting from tourism, measured in monetary terms, over and above the levels that would prevail in its absence.


Employment in tourism industries
Employment in tourism industries may be measured as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in any of their jobs, as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in their main job, as a count of the jobs in tourism industries, or as full-time equivalent figures.


Excursionist (or same-day visitor)
A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) if his/her trip does not include an overnight stay.


Forms of tourism
There are three basic forms of tourism: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism. These can be combined in various ways to derive the following additional forms of tourism: internal tourism, national tourism and international tourism.


Inbound tourism
Comprises the activities of a non-resident visitor within the country of reference on an inbound tourism trip.


Internal tourism
Internal tourism comprises domestic tourism plus inbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident and non-resident visitors within the country of reference as part of domestic or international tourism trips.


International tourism
International tourism comprises inbound tourism plus outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips and the activities of non-resident visitors within the country of reference on inbound tourism trips.


Meetings industry
To highlight purposes relevant to the meetings industry, if a trip’s main purpose is business/professional, it can be further subdivided into “attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions” and “other business and professional purposes”.

The term meetings industry is preferred by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Reed Travel over the acronym MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) which does not recognize the industrial nature of such activities.


MICE
See meetings industry.


National tourism
National tourism comprises domestic tourism plus outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors within and outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips.


Outbound tourism
Comprises the activities of a resident visitor outside the country of reference, either as part of an outbound tourism trip or as part of a domestic tourism trip.


Place of usual residence
The place of usual residence is the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides, and is defined by the location of his/her principal dwelling (Principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses of the United Nations, ¶¶2.20 to 2.24).


Purpose of a tourism trip (main)
The main purpose of a tourism trip is defined as the purpose in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place. Classification of tourism trips according to the main purpose refers to nine categories: this typology allows the identification of different subsets of visitors (business visitors, transit visitors, etc).

See also destination of a tourism trip


Tourism expenditure
Tourism expenditure refers to the amount paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables, for own use or to give away, for and during tourism trips.


Tourism industries
Tourism industries (also referred to as tourism activities) are the activities that typically produce tourism characteristic products.

Tourism characteristic products are those that satisfy one or both of the following criteria:
(a)  Tourism expenditure on the product (either good or service) should represent a significant share of total tourism expenditure (share-of-expenditure/demand condition);
(b)  Tourism expenditure on the product should represent a significant share of the supply of the product in the economy (share-of-supply condition). This criterion implies that the supply of a tourism characteristic product would cease to exist in meaningful quantity in the absence of visitors.

List of categories of tourism characteristic products and tourism industries

Products   Industries
1. Accommodation services for visitors 1. Accommodation for visitors
2. Food and beverage serving services 2. Food and beverage serving activities
3. Railway passenger transport services 3. Railway passenger transport
4. Road passenger transport services 4. Road passenger transport
5. Water passenger transport servcies 5. Water passenger transport
6. Air passenger transport services 6. Air passenger transport
7. Transport equipment rental services 7. Transport equipment rental
8. Travel agencies and other reservation services 8. Travel agencies and other reservation servies activities
9. Cultural services 9. Cultural activities
10. Sports and recreational services 10. Sports and recreational activities
11. Country-specific tourism characteristic goods 11. Retail trade of country-specific tourism characteristic goods
12. Country-specific tourism characteristic services                   12. Other country-specific tourism characteristic activities


Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)
The Tourism Satellite Account (described in the Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008) is, besides the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008, the second international recommendation on tourism statistics that has been developed in a framework of consistency with the System of National Accounts. Both recommendations are mutually consistent and provide the conceptual framework for measuring and analyzing tourism as an economic activity.

As a statistical tool for the economic accounting of tourism, the TSA can be seen as a set of 10 summary tables, each with their underlying data and representing a different aspect of the economic data relative to tourism: inbound, domestic tourism and outbound tourism expenditure, internal tourism expenditure, production accounts of tourism industries, the Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributable to tourism demand, employment, investment, government consumption, and non-monetary indicators.

 

Tourism sector
The tourism sector, as contemplated in the TSA, is the cluster of production units in different industries that provide consumption goods and services demanded by visitors. Such industries are called tourism industries because visitor acquisition represents such a significant share of their supply that, in the absence of visitors, their production of these would cease to exist in meaningful quantity.

 

Tourist (or overnight visitor)
A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay.

 

Travel / tourism
Travel refers to the activity of travellers. A traveller is someone who moves between different geographic locations, for any purpose and any duration. The visitor is a particular type of traveller and consequently tourism is a subset of travel.

 

Travel party
A travel party is defined as visitors travelling together on a trip and whose expenditures are pooled.

 

Trip
A trip refers to the travel by a person from the time of departure from his/her usual residence until he/she returns: it thus refers to a round trip. Trips taken by visitors are tourism trips.

 

Usual environment
The usual environment of an individual, a key concept in tourism, is defined as the geographical area (though not necessarily a contiguous one) within which an individual conducts his/her regular life routines.

 

Vacation home
A vacation home (sometimes also designated as a holiday home) is a secondary dwelling that is visited by the members of the household mostly for purposes of recreation, vacation or any other form of leisure.

 

Visit
A trip is made up of visits to different places. The term tourism visit refers to a stay in a place visited during a tourism trip.

 

Visitor
A visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited. A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise.

 

This Annex includes some key concepts and the corresponding definitions as conveyed in the new International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 (IRTS 2008). While some of them focus exclusively on the economic measurement of tourism, others (like the key concepts of visitors –including tourists and excursionists-, trip, usual environment, forms of tourism, etc.) are also applicable to other areas of analysis and research.