Greece on its Way to Improve Accuracy of Tourism Statistics
The Tourism Ministry & ELSTAT are aiming to set the foundations for the operation of Greece’s much-awaited Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)
Greece is on its way to get a complete picture of the statistics involving its arrivals and revenue from tourists, following the recent renewal of a cooperation between the Tourism Ministry and the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The memorandum, signed by Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and ELSTAT President Athanasios Thanopoulos aims to prepare necessary charts with the required statistical information, needed to set the foundations for the operation of Greece’s much-awaited Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) and also support the country’s Tourism Observatory.
TSA is the main internationally recognized standard to measure a country’s tourism in its economy. Through a TSA it can be known what is allocated to the domestic economy from what tourists (inbound or domestic) spend in Greece.
The launch of a TSA in Greece is a project that has been absent from the sector for years and requested by tourism bodies on many occasions.
The TSA project between the tourism ministry and ELSTAT is expected to be completed over a four-year timeframe and once completed, is expected to provide a more accurate and objective approach to Greek statistical data for tourism.
According to the memorandum, ELSTAT will develop Greece’s TSA in accordance with the methodological framework recommended by Eurostat (EU statistical office) and international organizations.
Among ELSTAT’s initial actions will be the presentation of a pilot TSA that will include data (2015 reference year) related to tourism consumption.
On its part, among its responsibilities, the ministry will assist ELSTAT on a regular basis with data to continuously improve its statistical surveys and provide complete and up-to-date registries on, for example, accommodation units (hotels, rooms to let and campsites) in Greece.
Moreover, ELSTAT and the ministry will occasionally hold events to inform relevant public and private bodies that supply (tourism) data and registries useful for statistical purposes. Thematic workshops aimed to inform those using tourism statistics will also be held.
According to the ministry, two technical working groups will be established immediately to prepare the TSA project, which will process the data under consideration.
In comments after the signing, Minister Theoharis underlined the importance of a TSA as it will “ensure the best possible approach to Greece’s tourism data”, as well as the data’s credibility, which is crucial for the reflection of the sector’s contribution in the economy.