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Tourism statistics for local planning: challenges and proposals


The increasing importance of tourism in many urban and rural areas has called into question the adequacy of official statistical sources for specific local needs. However, several problems affect actual official statistics in tourism which make them inappropriate for destination management purposes. The present work starts from a simple question about the actual number of tourists in a given destination by formalizing the answer through a conceptual model which links official statistics available at local level with the tourism trips undertaken in the destination considered. The relevance of several parameters and quantities is highlighted and some proposals for their estimate are made. The importance of other information at local level, given the changing nature of demand and the increasing segmentation of the holyday market, is addressed.