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University of the Balearic Islands Master in Tourism and Environmental Economics



Benchmarking of International Visitor Expenditure Surveys and design a proposal for Guatemala application. 

Julio Estanislao Cuc 
 [Type the abstract of the document here. The 
 abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.] 
 Palma de Mallorca June 2010

Supervised by: Javier Rey Maquieira End of Master Project

BENCHMARKING OF INTERNATIONAL VISITOR EXPENDITURE SURVEYS AND DESIGN A PROPOSAL FOR GUATEMALA APPLICATION ABSTRACT The tourism expenditure has become an important economic indicator for study the impact of the tourism sector on the economy and the contribution for the economic growth and development of the country. There are many methods and models for estimate and measure the tourism expenditure. However is important that the method chosen will be adequate for the objectives and goals that wants to get and the information collected that will be useful for public, marketers and researchers for planning, studies and policy makers decision in the sector. The aim of this study is to answer the question of how to measure the international visitor expenditure when the visitor consumes tourism and non-tourism goods and services and some of these have been consumed outside of the country this information is possible to collected by the international visitor expenditure surveys so we applied a benchmarking on these surveys to identify the design and how have been carried out successful by other countries taken into account the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics of the UNWTO.

INTRODUCTION Tourism is the industry that in last decade has been a boom worldwide and has became a development strategy for many developing countries and represents one of the most important sectors for developed countries. For this reason many researchers have made studies for analyze and estimate the contribution of tourism on the economic growth, country development, social, cultural and environmental impacts, and destination competitiveness and the vast majority begin with the estimation of the expenditures that the international visitors make at an event site or in a defined geographic area (Vanhove 2005; Tyrrell and Johnston 2001; Vaughan, Farr, and Slee 2000). The UNWTO recommend that for macroeconomic analysis of tourism and its effect on a specific territory, it is crucial to know in which economy the producer of a good or service purchased by a visitor is resident. The intention in this case is to identify the economy from which the service is delivered, as opposed to where it is delivered or consumed. “Measurement of tourism activity is important for both public and private sectors. Without reliable data it is impossible to demonstrate the economic importance of the sector in terms of value added, employment, exports and imports. In many countries the amount of tourism activity is still underestimated due to a lack of correct statistical information. An efficient policy also requires data on the supply and demand structure and the development of the sector. Furthermore, a good information system is the basis for a good planning process at the local and regional levels”. (Vanhove 2005) As was mentioned the tourism expenditure data is the basis for many researches and studies in the tourism sector, but many developing countries do not have this information


available because they have not implemented a model or method for measure or estimate the tourism expenditure. For the case of Guatemala the tourism statistics about the arrivals and expenditure of international visitors had measured and estimated just in a global perspective and the publications only present the total arrivals by country, type of visitor and transportation used (air, land or sea); and the expenditure information available is based on the foreign exchange income. (Statistics Section Guatemala Tourism Board, 2008) In the study of Albizures (2004) describe the tourism sector as an amalgam of services where the visitor consumes tourism and non-tourism goods and services and for measure the expenditure is necessary to include the consumption of those services and goods at the destination. In Guatemala there is not a statistical system that allow to measurement the visitor expenditure or consumption all the activities related to the tourism services are included at the topic “Services” in the GDP information of the Central Bank of Guatemala and with this limited information is not possible to measure other economics impacts of tourism on the national economy. But, how we can measure the international visitor expenditure when the visitor consumes tourism and non-tourism goods and services and some of these goods and services have been consumed outside of the country? For this reason is important to analyze the methods and models for estimate and measure the tourism expenditure that have been conducted successful by other countries and with their experiences could to design and a proposal for the application in Guatemala and obtain the benefits of this important statistical information source. It will be useful for future studies and researches in the tourism sector about topics of impacts on the economy, competitiveness, consumer behavior, marketing, policy decision and many others issues. The aims of this research is to analyze and benchmark the international visitor expenditure surveys that was conducted for measure and estimate the contribution of tourism sector on the economy in and specific area or country and then design a proposal of an international visitor expenditure survey for Guatemala, according to the experience and methods of the countries studied. Also with this research we can identify the benefits of the information collected that are necessary for future investigation of the tourism sector with other economic indicators.

Visitor Expenditure According to the definitions of the UNWTO we will use the following concepts: Tourism comprises the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. 
 Travel refers to the activity of travelers a traveler is someone who moves between 


different geographic locations for any purpose and any duration. Travel within a country by residents is called domestic travel. Travel to a country by nonresidents is called inbound travel, whereas travel outside a country by residents is called outbound travel. So “Tourism” is therefore a subset of travel and visitors are a subset of travelers. These distinctions are crucial for the compilation of data on flows of travelers and visitors and for the credibility of tourism statistics. Visitor is a traveler 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. o Tourist: is the visitor that his/her trip includes an overnight accommodation. o Excursionist: the visitor that does not stay at the destination is called excursionist or same day visitor. 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. It includes expenditures by visitors themselves, as well as expenses that are paid for or reimbursed by others. Inbound Tourism Expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a non-resident visitor within the economy of reference; and for macroeconomic analysis of tourism and its effect on a specific territory, it is crucial to know in which economy the producer of a good or service purchased by a visitor is resident. The intention in this case is to identify the economy from which the service is delivered, as opposed to where it is delivered or consumed. Mihalic (2002) argue that the tourism is an expenditure-driven economic activity. That is, the consumption of tourism is at the centre of the economic measurement of tourism and the foundation of the economic impacts of tourism and, therefore, understanding tourism consumption is essential for understanding tourism’s economic impacts and many studies are identified the importance for calculate the expenditure of international visitors. Frechtling (2006) the measurement of the economic benefits along with related costs of tourism could help marketers, planners, and others with an interest in visitor activities to reach a variety of objectives: “It assists tourism marketers in evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts and the effects of additional facilities on demand for current ones. It helps educate tourism-related employees about their role in economic and business development and how their labor contributes to the economic health of their communities. Through expressing the returns to promotional and facility investment, it can encourage both business and government to seek out cooperative partnerships for mutual benefit. By demonstrating the effects of tourism development to the general public, it helps citizens rationally choose whether to 


encourage or resist additional tourism marketing or development” It informs public officials and business managers of the benefits to a community of invest in tourism promotion and in the development of tourism facilities and sponsorship of events or destinations. (Crompton, Lee, and Shuster 2001) LITERATURE REVIEW For this research was reviewed theoretical and empirical approach literature that support the aims of the study. First it was necessary to investigated about the application on tourism of the management term of Benchmarking that are usually used on the manufacture and industrial sectors. It was used in the study of Kozak (2002) “Destination benchmarking” it was applied the method for compared two sand and beach destinations with similar characteristics and measure the competitiveness. Other study applied a benchmarking analysis has been made by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry where benchmarked UAE tourism against to Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia where is compare the characteristics of the destinations, services and activities offered and strategies of promotions for improve the competitiveness (Rettab and Istaitich, 2006). This concept we can apply to analyze the international visitor surveys for identified the way to improve the design and carry out this instrument for collect statistical information at the tourist destinations. Secondly we review the literature about the tourism expenditure or consumption: The UNWTO and OECD use the following definition for the international visitor expenditure (tourist and excursionist): expenditure made by, or on behalf of, the visitor before, during and after the trip and which expenditure is related to that trip and which trip is undertaken outside the usual environment of the user, from this definition Vanhove (2005) identified four main categories of the components of visitor consumption: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Visitor final consumption expenditure in cash Visitor final consumption expenditure in kind Tourism social transfers in kind Tourism business expenses.

For these categories the visitor expenditure covers only the part of visitor final consumption expenditure in cash. In the following figure its shows the relationship of these categories.


Figure – 1

Source: Economics of Tourism Destinations (Vanhove 2005)

In the tourism expenditure surveys its collect information related to the consumption expenditure in cash individual or on behalf of third party or the visitor. Surveys of travelers can be conducted as they enter an area “entry surveys”, as they leave the area “exit surveys”, or while in the area under study “on-site surveys”, (Chhabra, Sills, and Cubbage 2003; Daniels, Norman, and Henry 2004; Crompton, Lee, and Shuster 2001). In addition, en route surveys can be conducted while passengers are traveling on an airplane, train, bus, or ship to or from the destination (Office of Travel and Tourism Industries 2004; UK International Passenger Survey cited in Vanhove 2005), or even after visitors return home (Daniels, Norman, and Henry 2004). There are different models and methods that are used for measure the tourism expenditure with advantages and disadvantages according to the purpose for each country, some of these studies was made by Frechtling (2006) “An Assessment of visitor expenditure methods and models” and researched by Breen, Bull, Walo (2001) “A comparison of surveys methods to estimate visitor expenditure in a local event”. The economy benefiting from tourism expenditure cannot always be derived directly from the places visited during the trip. There is not always a strict relationship between the places visited on the one hand and the economy affected on the other. For instance, not all expenditure associated with international trips occurs outside the economy of origin of the visitor and, in particular, some services might be acquired from producers resident in the country of origin or in any other country, international transport in particular, or any expenditure made while en route (UNWTO 2008).


Tourism Expenditure Methods and Models The definition of tourism expenditure is relates to persons that traveling outside their usual environment, and consists of the acquisition of good and services may well occur within the country or residence of the visitor or in any of the places visited during the trip. Based on this concept the UNWTO had established some methods for estimate the visitor expenditure that we describe as follow: Existing Data As an important step before to conduct a visitor survey the UNWTO recommend to identify the existing data available in the country, specially the data obtained by public transportation that provide the service especially to visitors, but normally in the countries the public transportation not is just for visitor and the spending reports are for administrative purpose. Visitor Surveys This is an interview method that takes a probability sample of visitor at a destination that include personal interviews and self-administered questionnaires when the visitors have been completed their visit. Crompton, Lee, and Shuster 2001 indicated that the visitor survey could produce estimates of mean visitor expenditure per day per person, and then multiplying this by number of visitor for estimate the tourism spending, but also considered that some services such as: lodging per night and taxicab transportation may vary by party size up to three, and suggest to ask how many people are in the visit group and defined if they are family or close friends for identify the pay of bills. The exit surveys model could be more accurate visitor expenditure information if the expenditure recall is limited to the previous 24 hours period. (Vaughan, Farr, and Slee, 2000) Tourism Establishment Surveys The sellers of tourism services such, restaurants, transportation, entertainment and others could be a source of visitor expenditure, however the manager of this establishments could not distinguish receipts between residents versus visitors consumptions, and can not provide any kind of information about the number of visitors, length of stay or origin. And this kind of business may reluctant to share the data for fear of its ending up in competitors. (Frechtling, 2006) Central Bank Data The three most commonly method used by the countries for measure the visitor expenditure is the data collected by the central bank of the records of foreign exchange transactions. This method account the foreign exchange purchases at the borders made by visitors. (Sheldon, 1993)



Moreover, the central-bank method only can suggest total foreign-visitor spending at the national level but not categories of this spending or any domestic spending. (UNWTO, 2000) Expenditure Ratio Model This model comprises of four steps that take the data from hotels and motels. The first step is collected the data from the receipts of these hotels and motels in a specific geographic area then is conducted a survey to visitors of the study area for obtain data about the expenditure in lodging specifically. The third step is computes a ratio from the total visitor expenditure from the survey to the survey that estimates the spending in hotels and motels. And finally this ratio is multiplying by the room receipts from the hotels and a motel obtained in the first step and the results is the total expenditure per person in the area. (Frechtling, 2006) Cost – Factor Model This model estimates the total expenditure in six main categories with nineteen different items that include: public transportation, auto transportation, lodging, food, entertainment and recreation, and incidental purchases. It comprises of a set of equations for each stage where the independent variables are the volumes travel activities for instances night spends, miles traveled, etc. and the coefficients are the cost per unit of each activity (cost-factor per unit) and the dependent variable is the total expenditure of travel-related goods and services (expenditure items). (Travel Industry Association of America, 2004) Other models identified by Frechtling (1994) are: Seasonal – Difference Model This model consists in examining the monthly receipts of business related to tourism, hotels, restaurants, amusement and recreational services and identify the total of the lowest month in a year time. This total represents average monthly sales to local residents in absence of any visitors. The amount of this month is subtracted from the other eleven months and the residual is visitor expenditure. Supply – Side Judgmental Model It is a proposed input-output model of The British Columbia Ministry of Development, Trade, and Tourism designed to display tourism’s contributions to the province. It comprises of three stages to determine the economic impact of the tourism industry: First identify the types of businesses composing the tourism industry; then measure the output, GDP, and other measures of economic impact of these businesses; and finally estimate the proportion of these measures that can be attributed to tourism expenditures for each business type. (Cavanagh, MacDougall, and Burd 1992)


Direct Observation This method is one of the most simple that obtain the data for estimate the visitor expenditure to observe the visitor spending in food, gasoline, lodging, and other items related to tourism and take a recording of visitor purchases. Frechtling (1994) examined these models and methods and conclude that the application to estimating annual visitor spending in specific areas, visitor surveys and cost-factor models, designed and applied according to commonly accepted principles of sound research, will produce estimates that satisfy the relevance, coverage, and accuracy principles. Table – 1: Advantages and disadvantages of the method and models.

Method or Model



Existing Data

This kind of information is very limited to the entry and mobility of the persons inside the country for instances the transportation reports.

In the most of cases this information does not distinguished between the residents and visitors.

Visitor Surveys

This instrument provides information detailed about the travel of the visitor.

It could be a bias between the real expenditure of the visitor and the information collected by the visitor surveys.

The visitor surveys provide information about the expenditure at the destination and country of origin and also we can collect information about the visitor profile, satisfaction level, interests and preferences.

In many cases the visitor does not remember his detailed expenditure. If the visitor travel with a package travel is difficult to detailed expenditure in each items.

The surveys are conducted directly to the international visitors, so distinguished between residents or visitor. The information collected by visitor surveys is very useful for other researches and studies.

Tourism Establishment Surveys


The data is collected directly to the establishments related to tourism sector.

This survey does not distinguish between residents and visitors consumption.


It does not provide any other kind of information about the visitors. It is difficult to collect the data because the managers could be reluctant to provide it. Central Bank Data

Provide information about the total foreign exchange receipts and purchases.

This method only provides the total spending at the national level. It does not provide information classified by categories of the expenditure.

Expenditure Ratio Model

Measure the visitor expenditure for a specific geographic area.

The information is limited to the expenditure in accommodation.

Cost Factor Model

Identify the items that have more incidences in the visitor expenditure.

The variables could be varying from one to other country. It is not consider the case of packages travel.

Seasonal Difference Model

Provide information about the receipts of each business related to tourism that support the planning of those businesses.

This model is focuses to the receipts and seasonal patterns in tourism not directly to visitor expenditure.

Supply-Side judgmental model

The model estimate the contribution of the tourism to the economy for each sector related to tourism.

The information collected is not detailed about the expenditure of the visitors.

Direct Observation

Provide precise information because is directly the information. It is useful for small samples.

It could be very expensive for the human capital needs and the application is very difficult.

As we can observe the visitor survey is the method more adequate for estimate the visitor expenditure because provide information more precisely and detailed, also it is an effective method for collect information about the expenditure and other items such as: behavior, profile, length of stay, level of satisfaction and information related to the visit.



DATA AND METHODOLOGY The data for design international surveys was taken from the International Recommendations of Tourism Statistics (IRTS) published by UNWTO in 2008, this publication contain the guidelines about definitions and concepts that every country have to follow in order to have a standard parameters for create statistical information. For this research was used all related to inbound tourism and measurement of the tourism expenditure. The detail data regarding to the international visitor surveys of the countries analyzed was obtained from the National Institutions of Statistics and Ministries of Tourism, the countries analyzed are: New Zealand (Ministry of Tourism of NZ); Thailand (Tourism Authority of Thailand); Spain (Institute of Tourism Studies); El Salvador (Tourism Corporation of El Salvador); Mexico (SECTUR Secretaria de Turismo); United Kingdom (Office for National Statistics). The data collected was about the methodology, sample and structure of the surveys. Also we describe the actual situation of the tourism statistics in Central America region for identify the method and information collected about this sector. The countries was chosen according to the their attributes and characteristics also for the data availability. Mexico and El Salvador have chosen because are located in the same geographical region and have similar attributes in cultural, history and nature destinations. Spain and UK as mature destinations that offer a large range of tourism attractions and are leading worldwide. Thailand was chosen for the attribute of exotic destination for the culture and natural resources that could be compare with some attributes and characteristics of Guatemala and New Zealand as a emerge destination that in the recently years has become very popular for the nature resources, adventurous and for the boom of “Lord of the Rings” movies. The methodology used for analyze the international visitor surveys was the Benchmarking that is defined as: the continuous measurement and improvement of an organization's performance against the best in the industry to obtain information about new working methods or practices. The benchmarking is not just a comparison analysis, the method tries to identify the differences in process, procedure, methods and techniques and improve the performance and quality. (Kozak, 2002) Kozak (2002) has been applied this method in tourism sector and had identified that the external benchmarking is a comparison work with external organizations in order to discover new ideas, methods, products and services. The external benchmarking aiming to identify performance gaps and learns about others' best practices. The method proposed by Kozak in tourism consists in the five stages: Planning, Data Collection, Analysis, Action and Review, for this study we will apply three stages:


1. Planning: Research proposal. 2. Data Collection: Data related to international survey standards by UNWTO and detailed data of each country to analyze. 3. Analysis: We will compare the methodology, sample and structure contents of international visitor surveys against to the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics from UNWTO as the standard for the industry. Then we will be identified the topics and questions to measure the tourism expenditure according to the objectives that want to get and try to design a survey proposal that could be apply in a destination like Guatemala. RESULTS First we analyzed the actual method and information collected about tourism statistics by the statistical institutions and tourism boards of each country of Central America region that consists in seven countries by: Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Table -2: Actual tourism statistics in Central America.





Information Collected

Data from national institutions. Visitor arrivals (Migration Department) Foreign exchange receipts (Central Bank).

Visitor Arrivals: Tourist and excursionist by country of residence and mode of entry.

In 2008 was conducted a tourism expenditure survey with a sample of 4,148 in the main borders and at the international airport.

The information collected was type of visitor arrival, socio-economic demographic information, purpose of the visit, visited places, main activities done, mean daily expenditure based of type of accommodation, type of trip organization and mode of entry.

Total foreign exchange receipts.



Data from the Department of Immigration and Nationality, Central bank and institutions related to the tourism places.

Visitor Arrivals that are classified by type of visitors, purpose of the visit, mode of entry and places visited. The tourism expenditure is collect by total foreign exchange receipts by tourism. Also it is included a section of hotels statistics about the occupation rate, revenues, rates and capacity.

El Salvador

There is a combination of data from the Central Bank, Immigration department and a visitor expenditure survey conducted in 2009.

The information collected by this methods are: Visitor arrivals, foreign exchange receipt by tourism and socioeconomic information; Purpose of the visit; Length of stay; Country of residence; Transport arrival mode; Accommodation; Tourism Expenditure daily average; Preferences of the places visited.


The data is collected by the Immigration Department and Central Bank also by the UNWTO and SITCA Secretariat of Central America Tourism Integration.

The main information collected is about the visitor arrivals, type of visitor, country of residence, reason of trip, entrance route and length to stay. About the tourism expenditure is estimate by foreign exchange income as an average, also include information about the employment in the sector and hotel occupancy.



Data from the Immigration Department and Central

The information is collected is the total visitor arrivals, type of visitor,



country of residence, mode of entry, organization of the trip, sociodemographic information, average expenditure,

Costa Rica

Information collected by migration check points in the main borders and international airport and from the central bank.

Visitor arrivals, type of visitor, mode of entry, country of residence, and foreign exchange receipts.


The data is from the national institution of Budgeting and Statistics Department (IPAT), the immigration direction, central bank and Panama Tourism Institute.

The information collected is about the total tourist arrivals classified by type of visitors: tourist and excursionist, mode of entry, hotels capacity and investment. The total expenditure is estimated and its contribution to the GDP contribution.

Actually the tourism statistics in the central America region have the same method to collected the data all the countries obtained the data from their national institutions such as: Immigration Department that registered the entry and exit of the visitor in the check points of the main airports, ports and borders and they can collected information about the number of arrivals, country or residence, length of stay, sex and age. The visitor expenditure is estimate from the data obtained in the central bank with the transactions of foreign exchange purchase and receipts. Some of those countries have been conducted visitor expenditure surveys but with very limited information about this items and other that can be collected. In the next section we present the structure that according to the UNWTO the measure of tourism expenditure must to be include the following fields:



 Inbound Tourism • Tourist (overnight visitors) • Excursionist (same day visitor) • Other Inbound Travelers* Main Purpose of Tourism Trips • Business and Professional • Holiday, Leisure and Recreation • Visit Friends and Relatives • Education and Training • Health and medical care • Religion / Pilgrimages • Shopping • Transit • Other Characteristics of the visitor • Sex • Age • Economic Activity Status • Occupation • Annual household, family or individual income • Education Type of Product** • Cultural and History • Ecotourism • City Tourism • Sun and Sand Tourism • Agro-tourism • Health Tourism • Winter Tourism • Summer Break Duration of a trip or visit • Number of nights


Country of Origin • Country of Residence of the visitor Modes of Transport • Air: Scheduled flight, unscheduled flight, private aircraft, other modes of air transport. • Water: Passenger line and ferry, Cruise ship, Yacht, other modes of water transport. • Land: Railway, motor coach or bus and other public road transportation, vehicle rental with driver, owned private vehicule (up of 8 persons), other modes of land trasnport. On foot. Types of Accommodation • Market basis: Paid service of accommodation. • Non-market basis: Service provided by family, friends or relatives. • O wner occupied vacation homes. • Other Tourism Expenditure Timing • Consumption delivered before and during the trip. Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) • Package travel, package holidays, and package tours. • Accommodation. • Food and Drink. • Local Transport. • International Transport. • Recreation, culture and sporting activities. • Shopping. • Others.

*Other inbound travelers: Border workers, Seasonal workers, other short-term workers, long-term workers, nomads and refugees, transit passengers not entering the economic and legal territory, crews on public mode of transport, persons entering the country to establish there their country of residence, long terms students and patients and their family joining them, other travelers deemed not to enter the economic territory: Diplomats, consular staff, military personnel and their dependants, armed forces on maneuver. **Because these “products” are still not sufficiently characterized in a uniform way, there is no international recommendation for the use of this type of classification.

In the following tables are presented the data collected and analysis of comparison between each country the items studied was the sampling method, methodology and structure and classification of the surveys:


Table –2: Sampling


Sampling Method

New Zealand

Stratified cluster sample of departing international flight with quota sampling of individual respondents, month, quarter and year. With a sampling error of plus or minus 6%. Age 15yo and older, in the three largest international airports.


Random sampling of passenger that entering and leaving the UK through the main airports, seaports and Channel Tunnel.


Random sampling stratified by country of residence, entries mode (air, sea or land) and borders. The sample contains 21 stratums; 9 by highways mode, 9 by air mode and 3 by sea mode.


Quota sampling is used for conducted the international visitor survey the target sample will be divided into quota by market share of each country of residence with confidential level of 95%.


The sampling is stratified by type of visitors: Tourist that could be border tourist or international tourist and Excursionist that could be border excursionist and excursionist from cruise ships.

El Salvador

Quota sampling carried out each three months stratified by tourist and excursionists.

According to the information collected about the sampling we can identify that is very useful the stratified sampling it is because we can stratify the affluence of tourism by country of origin and by type or visitor and in this way the sample could be more significant. Added to this type of sampling the most commonly is the random sampling with quotas that allow us to carry out the surveys in different tourist season. The sampling method also depends to the life of cycle of the destination it should to adapt if the destination is position in the phase of emerging, expansion or mature, for instance from the countries studied New Zealand also apply the cluster sampling that consist to generate groups of persons that share specific characteristics, preferences and interests. (Modelli and Rodríguez, 2005)


Table – 3: Methodology

Country New Zealand

Methodology applied Weighting methodology that consists in three stages: The sample is weighted to flight stratum population totals. This stage of weighting accounts for the unequal probabilities of selection. The weights are adjusted to country of residence by age and gender population totals. This stage of weighting adjusts for discrepancies between the sample and the population. The third stage of weighting to purpose of visit and length of stay population totals. For know discrepancies between the sample and the target population.


The interviews are carried out throughout the year and the travelers are chosen systematically at fixed intervals from a random start about 1 every 500 passengers. A quarter of million face-to-face interviews are conducted at the year. There are 8 stages of weighting methodology: Design weight, non-response weight, second design weight, minimum interviews, sampling frame weight, under coverage, imbalance, final weight that include all stages above.


The interviews are conducted face-to-face in 21 airports, 21 highways entries and 7 ports. Also it is established minimal quotas monthly by country or residence.


The survey areas are the five main international airports of Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Had Yai and U-tapao. Also in the border checkpoints ThailandMalaysia: Sadao, Padang, Besar, Sungai Kolok. Thailand-Lao: Nong Khai. Conducted face-to-face.


The interviews are conducted face-to-face randomly in the 11 main airports of the country and in the main highways border checkpoints and ports.

El Salvador

The interviews face-to-face are made in the main borders of the country (Chinamas, El Amatillo, El Poy, San Cristobal, Anguiatú) and in the International airport of San Salvador.

Because the objective of the surveys is to measure the visitor expenditure all the countries carried out the surveys in the international airports, borders checkpoints and ports when the visitors are departing from the country, the interviews are conducted face-to-face that allow us to ensure the correctly answering of the survey. Also some of these countries used a weighting methodology to reduce and correct different aspects of the sample and reduce the discrepancies and bias when we stratified and diminish problems such as a minimum interviews, non-respondents and incomplete and design errors of the surveys.


Table – 4: Structure and Classifications


Structure and Classifications

New Zealand

Geographical classification; Accommodation; Activities/Attractions; Transport; Main Reason for Traveling; Expenditure classification; Visitor Demographics characteristics; Special classifications, Satisfaction level.


Passenger country of residence; The reason for their visit; Socio demographic information; Accommodation; Meals out; Transportation; Clothing/Fabrics; Retail Shops; Souvenirs; Entertainment and Admissions; Medical Services; Other services; Other items.


Tourist expenditure; Excursionist expenditure; Socio-demographic information (sex, age, education level, professional situation and activity, income, fidelity); Purpose of visit; Accommodation; Entry mode; Organization of the trip; Size and composition of the group travel; Length of stay; Activities made; Internet use; Satisfaction level.


Profile of tourist: country of residence, length of stay, demographic information (sex, age, income and occupation). Tourism Behavior: travel arrangement, mode of transport, purpose of visit, frequency of visit. Spending Behavior: accommodation, food and beverage, shopping, entertainment, local transport, sightseeing, others.


Country of residence; Purpose of the visit; Transport arrival mode; Travel mode; Socio-economic information; Places visited; Size of Group; Length of stay; Mean expenditure.

El Salvador

Socio-economic information; Purpose of the visit; Length of stay; Country of residence; Transport arrival mode; Accommodation; Tourism Expenditure daily average; Preferences of the places visited.

As we can observe in the data collected about the structure and classification in the surveys they follow the main items that the UNWTO recommend to measure to estimate the visitor expenditure such as: accommodation, transport, expenditure timing, mode of travel, meals, entertainment, souvenirs and other items such medical services, some countries estimate an average expenditure and other collected more detailed consumption expenditure. About to the behavior and preferences of the visitor the surveys ask about the purpose of the trip, the length of stay, group travel composition, visit frequency and places visited. The surveys also are useful to collected other data that the country has a special interest to measure or if it is an important attribute to the destination competitiveness in this case 


the questions could be about the satisfaction level, use of internet for planning the trip, if there is any special reason for visit the country that could be for an specific advertising campaign. The visitor expenditure surveys are an important support to create the visitor profile all these surveys contains the section of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and the country of residence or origin. CONCLUSIONS The estimation of tourism expenditure is important for analyze the economic, social and environmental impact that the industry has on the country development as a tourist destination. However for the case of Guatemala there is not a statistical system that permit to measure the visitor expenditure for all activities related to tourism sector that include tourist and non-tourist goods and services. The tourism expenditure contains information necessary for policies makers, researchers and marketers in public and private sectors. There are many methods and model for estimate the tourism expenditure nevertheless the international visitors surveys are more effectiveness because provide detailed information about the consumption expenditure of products and services related to the tourism industry that the visitor could have made at the destination or in the origin country also we can collect socio economic information for create a tourist profile. The main sampling type applied by the countries that are carried out the international visitor surveys is the probabilistic sample, random and stratified those allow us to conduct the surveys in a representative sample, and also the main methodology used is face-toface interviews when the visitor is departing from the country “exit-surveys”. The structure and classification are followed by the recommendation for tourism statistics of the UNWTO some countries recollected more detailed data than others for example Spain, New Zealand and UK from the countries analyzed. For all the countries is important to maintain update the information collected by international visitor expenditure because it is the basis for other statistics and researches such as: Tourism Satellite Account, Travel Cost Model for evaluation of environmental externalities and for analyze the tourism sector from a macroeconomic perspective. As other instruments used for estimate the tourism expenditure is necessary to improve and innovate the design and its carry out. There is a gap for the next surveys that could be to include information related to the environmental issues in terms of conservation, protected and impacts and also for measure the effectiveness of our strategies of marketing and promotions and competitiveness and try to create homogenous statistics for compare the destinations within the same geographical area or with similar characteristics.


PROPOSAL Tourism Context in Guatemala The tourism sector in Guatemala has become a very important sector in the last decade raising the main exportable products such as: coffee, sugar, banana and cardamom in terms of foreign exchange receipts. Guatemala is recognized like as a great Cultural destination for its legacy of Maya culture and for its large richness in history and natural resources that every year attract a large number of visitors, is located in a privilege spot right in the center of America continent and this makes it an important commercial as well as tourism center. Guatemala has an extension of 108,889 km2 divided into 22 department witch are home to a population of 13,002,206. There is an exquisite cultural mix of 22 Maya ethnics groups, Ladinos and Garifunas. Although the official language is Spanish there are 23 other language in use, 21 Maya, 1 Garifuna, 1 Xinca. The Guatemala Tourism Board have been divided the country by tourism regions to enhanced the country’s comparative advantage: • • • • • • •

Modern and Colonial Highlands, Living Maya culture Peten, Adventure in the Mayan world Izabal, The Green Caribbean Las Verapaces, Natural Paradise The Pacific, Exotic and diverse Western, Mystical and natural

Because the change on the tourist behavior and the increase of the interest in the specialized tourism Guatemala has chosen seven segments of tourism its marketing strategy and generate a competitive advantage the main segments are: • • • • • • •

Bird watching Meeting, Conventions and Incentives Cruises Sports Tourism (Golf, Fishing) Community Tourism Health and Wellness Spanish Language Schools

The growth of tourism have been very important for the country, in 2009 Guatemala received 1,776,069 of international visitors, in the following graph we present this behavior since 2000. 


Graph – 1: International Visitor Arrivals

International Visitors Arrivals

2000 826240


2001 835,492

2002 884,190

2003 880,223

2004 1,181,52

2005 1,315,64

2006 1,502,06

2007 1,627,55

2008 1,715,42

2009 1,776,06

Source: INGUAT

As we can observe the affluence of tourism has a constant growth rate in the last year that since 2000 to 2009 have been increase in 115%. For the case of foreign receipts also have the same tend of constant increase. Graph – 2: Foreign Exchange Receipts (millions of US$)

Foreign Exchange Receipts 1199.3

1275.5 1298.0

1012.2 868.8 770.1 535.3














Source: INGUAT

The foreign exchange receipt by tourism in Guatemala has a significant incremental since 2000 to 2009 it increased 142% from 535,3 to 1298,0 millions of US$.


International Visitor Expenditure Survey: Proposal According to the analyzed made to international visitor expenditure and take into account the main characteristics of Guatemala as a tourist destination and the actual tourism statistics system we propose the following: Sampling: It recommends to uses a probabilistic sampling with an error plus and minus +/- 6%; for the case of Guatemala also recommend to uses a cluster stratified sample by country of residence or region (Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, etc.) using the historical data available because there is an important topic in the tourist arrivals and expenditure behavior. Methodology: It recommends applying 3 stages of weighting sampling for country of residence, mode of entry and non-respondents. Create monthly quotas to conduct exit surveys face-to-face in the main international airports, ports and borders, the system to conduct the surveys should to be electronic it will allow introducing the data at the same time to collect the data. Questionnaire: Q.0 Date of Interview: ___/___/___ Interviewer Code: ______ General Information and Instructions for the interviewer. Presentation: Good morning/night/afternoon my name is_____ I am conducting this survey on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism. Would you like to participate in this study? Q.1 Enter the stratum based on country of residence: In which country have you lived in the last 12 months? North America Central America South America Europe UK Australia and NZ Africa Middle East Asia and Pacific


[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________ Country ______________


Q.2 Mode of Entry and transport: At witch point of these you arrived to Guatemala? Show Card A: Airports, ports and land borders.

Q.3 Which was the main purpose of your visit? Business and Professional Holiday, Leisure and Recreation Honey Moon Visit Friends and Relatives Education and Training Health and medical care Religion / Pilgrimages Shopping Transit Other

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] Specify:_______________________

Q.4 What best describe your currently employment status? Employed Full-time Employed Part-time Self-employment Retired Student Other

[ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] Specify:_______________________

Q.5 What is the highest level of education you have achieved? High School or Less Attended some college/university University/College Degree Master Degree Professional or/and Doctoral PhD


[ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ]


Q.6 Which of the following ranges describes your personal annual net income in US$? 0 – 15,000 15,001 – 30,000 30,001 – 45,000 45,001 – 60,000 60,001 – 75,000 75,001 - 90,000 90,001 – 105,000 > 105,000 Refused

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Q.7 Which of these age groups represents your age? Less than 20 21 – 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60 61 – 70 71 – 80 > 80 Refused

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Q.8 This was your first time in Guatemala? Yes [ ] (Continue to the Q.11)

No [ ] (Continue to the next question)

Q.9 When was your last visit in Guatemala? ______ Year Q.10 How many times have you visited Guatemala? _____Times Q.11 How many persons are traveling with you? ______ Adults ______ Children under 15 years old


Q.12 What type of activities did you do? (You can select more than one) Cultural and History City Tours Agro-tourism Hiking Rafting Kayaking Camping Maya sites visits Natural places Spanish L. Schools

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Bird-watching [ Sun and Sand Beaches [ Health and Wellness Tourism [ Congress and Events [ Canopy [ Museums Visits [ Climbing Volcanoes [ Indigenous Community visits [ Sports (golf, fishing, surf) [ Other (Specify) [

] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] _____________

Q.13 How many nights did you stay in Guatemala? Nights _____ Q.14 In this map could you indicate the places visited and the number of nights that you stayed in each place? Show Card B: Tourist Destinations Map

Q.15 Did you visit some of these protected natural areas? Show Card C: Protected Natural Areas



Q.16 How did you organize your travel? Self-organized (direct contract service) Package tour (tour operator and travel agency) Semi-package tour (self organized and tour operator combination)

[ ] [ ] [ ]

Q.17 What type of accommodation did you use? Hotel, Hostels, Apartment Which category? More than 5 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars Less than 3 Stars

[ ]

[ [ [ [ [

] ] ] ] ]

Family, relatives or friends houses Second house for vacation Other

[ ] [ ] [ ]

Now we want to talk about your consumption and expenditure in your travel. Q.18 What was the total expenditure in your travel? (total of your group travel size) ____________Amount

Currency: [ ] $ [ ] € [ ] £


Q.19 Could you estimate the expenditure made in the following items in your origin country and at the destination? (Total of your group travel size)


Origin of Country Amount Currency

At the Destination Amount Currency

Travel, Holiday and/or Tours Package International Transport (airfares, cruises, buses, rental cars) Accommodation Food and Drink Local Transport (buses, rental cars, taxis, airfares, boats) Recreation, culture and entertainment activities Sport and events activities Souvenirs and Shopping Other items Total

Q.20 With a scalar from 1 to 10 where 1 is “unsatisfied” and 10 “very satisfied” How did you evaluate your experience in Guatemala? Unsatisfied

Very Satisfied

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Q.21 With a scalar from 1 to 10 where 1 is “very bad” and 10 “very good” How do you evaluate the security and safety in the country? Very Bad

Very Good

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Q.22 With a scalar from 1 to 10 where 1 is “Lower” and 10 “Higher” How do you evaluate the quality of tourist services? Lower

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Q.23 With a scalar from 1 to 10 where 1 is “Unacceptable” and 10 “Very acceptable” How do you evaluate the infrastructure (airports, highways, places, ports, etc) of the country? Unacceptable

Very acceptable

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Q.24 Do you think that you will visit Guatemala again in the future? Yes

[ ]


[ ]


Q.25 According to your perception Guatemala as holiday destination is: Very Recommended Recommended Quite Recommended Not Recommended

[ [ [ [

] ] ] ]

Q.26 Have you been visited other country before or will go to other destination of the region in this same trip? Yes [ ] Which one? México El Salvador Belize Panama

No [ [ [ [

] ] ] ]

[ ]

Honduras [ ] Nicaragua [ ] Costa Rica [ ] Other __________________

Q.27 Did you use the Internet to find information and/or planned your trip? Yes [ ] No [ ] Q.28 Did you visit any of these sites or web pages? (You could chose more than one) Google [ ] Wikipedia Facebook [ ] Twitter LinkedIn [ ] Official country webpage TripAdvisor [ ] Tour operator webpage Other_____________ Q.29 Gender Male [ ]


[ [ [ [

] ] ] ]

Youtube Flicker Myspace Blogger

[ [ [ [

] ] ] ]

[ ]

Q.30 What is your marital status? Single Divorced Refused

[ ] [ ] [ ]

Married Living with partner

[ ] [ ]

Q.31 Would you like to received information by e-mail about promotions and discounts for your next visit to Guatemala? Yes [ ] e-mail: __________________________ No [ ]

Thank you for your participation!


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Benchmarking of Internacional Visitor Surveys  

End of master projecto of Master in Tourism and Enviromental Economics