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Maintaining global alignment among all travel statistics concepts is crucial. As a result, we have compiled a Tourism ABC encompassing all the necessary terms related to travel statistics.

The most requested terms

All relevant tourism related concepts are presented and explained below

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Accommodation can be either private or collective. Collective accommodation is further divided into registered and non-registered establishments. Registered establishments include hotels, guest houses, youth hostels, holiday villages, and camping sites. Non-registered establishments refer to short-stay accommodation offered via collaborative economy platforms. An accommodation establishment is any facility that provides overnight lodging for travellers in rooms or other types of units.



A visitor is any person who travels to a location that is not his/her usual environment and stays there for a maximum of three months. Their primary purpose for travel is not to engage in a continuous activity or to work and earn income within the visited location. The term visitor includes both domestic and foreign individuals who may stay overnight or visit for the day.

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Visitor spending

Visitor spending refers to the total consumption expenditure made by a visitor, or on behalf of a visitor for goods and services during his/her trip to the destination. It also includes payments in advance or after the trip for services received during the trip. 


Arrivals to accommodation 


In tourism statistics, an "arrival" is a statistical unit used to measure the volume of tourist/visitor flows. In accommodation statistics, arrivals refer to guest arrivals in accommodation establishments who check in to spend one or more nights in the establishment. 'Arrivals' also indicate the demand for accommodation services measured by the number of customers.


Bed nights


Bed nights refer to the total number of nights spent in accommodation establishments. Bed nights are calculated by arrivals to accommodation*length of stay.


Daily visitors


Daily visitor refers to same-day visit made in the purpose of travel. The maximum duration for same-day visits is less than 24 hours, so that departure and return takes place within the same calendar day and no nights are spent during the trip.

Movement data


Movement data is mobile operator data, which in Finland is produced by Telia. Movement data estimates visitor flows based on length of stay on a measuring point and based on the origin of the mobile (county level).

Non-Registered accommodation

Non-registered accommodation refers to privately rented holiday houses and apartments. These statistics are collected from Airbnb and Vrbo. 

Overnight visitor


Overnight visitor refers to a trip outside the usual environment, during which at least one night is spent in private or collective accommodation either for free or for a charge. The maximum duration of a trip is three months.

Registered accommodation

The definition of registered accommodation varies a little depending on the local statistic official.

In Norway registered accommodation statistics include hotels, camping sites, short-term holiday dwellings and youth hostels. Holiday dwellings refer to self-catering huts/rooms with limited service.

In Sweden registered accommodation statistics include hotels, holiday villages, youth hostels and campsites. Establishments with fewer than 9 beds or 5 rooms are excluded.

In Finland registered accommodation statistics include hotels, motels, guest houses, hostels, holiday villages and campsites. Establishments with fewer than 20 beds or caravan lots with an electrical connection point are excluded. 

In Denmark registered accommodation statistics include hotels, holiday centers, hostels, camping sites and holiday houses. Establishments with fewer than 40 beds or camping sites with a capacity fewer than 75 guests per night are excluded. Holiday houses with fewer than 25 houses available for rental are excluded.


Privately rented holiday houses are not part of the registered accommodation statistics. Look at non-registered accommodation.


Visitor spending

Visitor spending refers to the total consumption expenditure made by a visitor, or on behalf of a visitor for goods and services during his/her trip to the destination. It also includes payments in advance or after the trip for services received during the trip. Visitor spending includes VAT. The figures are estimates and based on the results of the TAK Border Research, TAK Domestic Tourism Survey and accommodation statistics of Statistics Finland. In Sweden the figures are based on Svenskars Resande -survey by SCB. Coefficients of the number of daily visitors and overnight visitors are calculated on a regional level monthly. The coefficients are: [the number of overnight visitors/the number of overnight visitors in hotels, hostels and camping] and [the number of daily visitors/the number of overnight visitors]. The coefficients of spending are calculated on a regional level yearly. The coefficients here are [the average spending of daily visitors] and [the average spending of overnight visitors]. 




A visitor is defined as any individual who travels to a destination outside of their usual environment and stays for a period of less than three (3) months (note: UNWTO defines it as less than twelve months), and whose main purpose of travel is not a continuous or remunerated activity in the place visited. The visitor category includes both domestic and international visitors and encompasses both overnight and same-day visits.

*Regional economic effects of tourism


A few basic concepts are applied in regional economic studies of tourism. These include direct, indirect and derivative effects. Tourism brings new money from outside the region to the regional economy and its circulation. Tourists spend money in the destination area on various services, such as accommodation, catering, transport and program services, as well as retail and service station operations. When they directly buy goods and services from companies, there are immediate effects. Indirect effects occur when companies that receive direct tourism income purchase goods and services from supplier companies. These procurement chains can be several rounds in length. Thanks to tourism, when employed people buy goods and services, induced effects are created. All of the effects mentioned above concern tourism income and jobs, as well as wage income and tax income effects accumulated from jobs. Indirect and derived effects form the multiplier effects of tourism. The overall effects of tourism include direct, indirect and derived effects.




Statistics Finland, Visitory Research Team, Eurostat, Kauppila (2009)

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