The main aim of the Tourstat survey is to collect information on tourism demand, for both inbound and outbound trips with at least one overnight stay outside the usual environment. Tourism demand statistics include information on participation in tourism and information on tourism trips and visitors making the trips or same-day visits.
On an international level, the characteristics of outbound same-day visits are transmitted to Eurostat on an annual basis to satisfy the requirements laid down in Regulation (EU) No. 692/2011 concerning European statistics on tourism and repealing Council Directive 95/57/EC. The first reference period was on 1st January 2014.
Methodological description of survey
Tourist air departures are collected through a continuous survey carried out at the departure lounge of the Malta International Airport (MIA) using a two-stage sampling design. In the first stage, alternate days and nights are selected. In a fortnight all days and nights are covered. In the second stage, within each shift, a sample of passengers is selected systematically. Every crossing passenger is counted and respondents are selected using a pre-defined interval of 1:20. As a result of the COVID-19 situation, July 2020, and as from October 2020, the pre-defined interval is 1:10.
Tourist sea departures are collected through a regular survey, conducted during three separate months (June, August, September) every year at the Valletta Cruise Port. A quota sample is used to conduct sea passenger departures in which survey interviewers are guided to select people according to some fixed quota. Respondents are selected into a sample on the basis of pre-specified characteristics (gender, age-group and nationality) so that the total sample has the same distribution of characteristics assumed to exist in the population being studied.
Accuracy and reliability of data
Information on the accuracy and reliability of data can be viewed in a dedicated quality report which is made available on the NSO’s metadata website.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
The ‘Inbound Tourism’ news release and the ‘Outbound Tourism’ news release are published on the NSO’s website on a monthly and quarterly basis respectively. These are published on a pre-established date as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar which is available on the NSO’s website. The ‘Inbound Tourism’ news releases are published within two months after the end of the reference month, whereas ‘Outbound Tourism’ news releases are issued in the subsequent quarter.
On an annual basis, the total outbound same-day visits are transmitted to Eurostat, reporting separately the four quarters of the previous calendar year.
Accessibility and clarity of data
In StatDB, statistics on inbound tourists by gender and age group are published on a monthly basis after the publication of the ‘Inbound Tourism’ news release.
In 2003, a onetime publication entitled ‘Tourstat Survey Results on Inbound Tourism’ was published for the period covering January 2001 to May 2003.
On a national basis, a quality report is compiled on an annual basis and made available on the NSO’s metadata website.
Coherence and comparability/consistency of data
Tourstat data is comparable at national level from 2001 onwards.
Tourstat is the only source which collects information on tourism demands. Thus, coherence tests with other domains are not possible. Statistics on non-resident arrivals and nights from Tourstat and the survey on Collective Accommodation Establishments (known as ACCOMSTAT) are not comparable in view of different definitions and methodologies.