Annual data on trips of EU residents (tour_dem)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
National metadata

National reference metadata

National metadata produced by countries and released by Eurostat

National metadata

National reference metadata

National metadata produced by countries and released by Eurostat starting 2016 (reference year)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

G2: European businesses

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 12/03/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 28/06/2021
2.3. Metadata last update 28/06/2021

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

This collection covers national tourism. Data is collected by the competent national authorities of the Member States and is compiled according to a harmonised methodology established by EU regulations before transmission to Eurostat. Most of the time, data on domestic and outbound trips (where "outbound tourism" means residents of a country travelling in another country) is collected via sample surveys. However, in a few cases the data are compiled from border surveys. Surveys are generally conducted on a monthly or quarterly basis.


The concepts and definitions used in the collection of data shall conform to the specifications described in the Methodological manual for tourism statistics.

With the entry into force of the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Member States are transmitting microdata to Eurostat, which enables that data to be disseminated far more widely (since reference period 2012).

The information on tourism demand concerns trips (for the population aged 15 years and over) of which the main purpose is holidays or business and which involve at least one or more consecutive nights spent away from the usual place of residence (See annex at the bottom of the page).

Aggregated data on participation in tourim is also transmitted to Eurostat and covers the resident population aged 15 or over, participating in tourism for personal purpose during the reference year.

Microdata on trips of EU residents as well as participation data are transmitted to Eurostat one time per year. Data are disseminated when they respect agreed validation rules and other quality criteria.

3.2. Classification system

Country codes are based on the ISO 3166 (International Organisation of Standardisation – alpha-2 format), with the exception for Greece, which is coded as EL. For more details on the classification, please consult: Country codes.

The International standard classification of education (ISCED) is used to measure the educational attainment level. The currently disseminated data are based on ISCED 2011. For more details on the classification, please consult: Eurostat-Metadata (ISCED).

For data up to 2011 (reference year), the classification system applicable (under Directive 95/57/EC) is described in the document: "Community methodology on Tourism statistics", which is available from OPOCE, under the reference: ISBN 92-828-1921-3.

3.3. Coverage - sector

[Not applicable]

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The collection consists of harmonised data collected by the Member States in the frame of the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning European statistics on tourism.

Available statistics include data on residents' (for the population aged 15 years and over) tourism demand: participation, trips, nights and expenditure

Participation in tourism for personal purposes

Number of residents, aged 15 or over, having made at least 1 trip of at least 1 overnight stay. Only trips for personal purpose are covered. A breakdown by duration and by destination of the trip is provided as well as by socio-demographic characteristics of the tourist.

Concerning the breakdown by destination:

  • domestic trips cover tourists who made domestic trips only,
  • outbound trips cover tourists who made outbound trips only,
  • domestic and outbound cover tourists who have made both domestic and outbound trips.

Number of tourism trips

All tourism trips made by residents, aged 15 or over, for personal or professional/business purpose, with at least 1 overnight stay.

Concerning outbound trips with a world geographical breakdown, the destination can be understood in different ways. It may be:

  • The place the visitor considers as the most important place visited (motivating destination);
  • The place where the most amount of time is spent (time destination); or
  • The farthest place visited (distance destination).

It is useful to know all these destinations as well as less important destinations in transit. The main destination (place, country) should be separated from other destinations. The main destination is related to the main purpose of the trip and therefore the main destination should be defined as the place that the visitor considers as the main destination. If the respondent has difficulties for deciding what that is (e.g. for a touring trip), the main destination may secondarily be decided as the place, where most nights were spent or, if there are several such places, the farthest place.

Number of tourism nights

All tourism nights spent by residents, aged 15 or over, outside their usual environment for personal or professional/business purpose.

A tourism night (or overnight stay) is each night that a guest actually spends (sleeps or stays) or is registered (his/her physical presence there being unnecessary) in a collective accommodation establishment or in private tourism accommodation.

It is recommended to record all countries of overnight stays during the trips. Nights spent on board a ship or in a train moving from one country to another are included in outbound overnight stays but they are not spent in any specific country. It is recommended to include them in the "cruise" or "not specified" category. If the nights are spent on board a ship, when the ship is in port, the passengers may or may not be formally free to enter the country. If the passengers are free to enter the country, the nights might be in principle recorded to that country, spent in a specialised establishment (public means of transport), but also in this case the 'cruise' category is recommended.

Expenditure on tourism trips

The total consumption expenditure made by a visitor or on behalf of a visitor for and during his/her trip and stay at destination.

Total expenditure (TOTAL) is broken down by following expenditure items:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drinks in cafés or restaurants (to report separately on an optional basis, if not, it should be included under 'other expenditure')
  • Other expenditure

Expenditures for durable and valuable goods are also available, but are not included in the total expenditure. Durables and valuable goods include for instance cars, computers, paintings, works of arts or jewellery. This category is not included in the total expenditure, because goods are used mainly after the trip. Starting with year 2013 there is a recommendation to apply 300 EUR threshold and do not include smaller values in the category durables and valuable goods (300 EUR refers to unit price rather than the total price). Recommended threshold was not applied at the same time in all countries, which may lead to fluctuations in this category from 2013 on.

3.5. Statistical unit

For collecting data on participation in tourism, the statistical unit is the individual.

For collecting data on tourism trips and visitors making the trips, the statistical unit is the trip made by the individual.


Any person travelling to a place other than that of his/her usual environment for less than twelve months and whose main purpose of trip is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.

3.6. Statistical population

The statistical population consists of all residents in the respective Member States. However, the Regulation indicates the age group 0-14 years old as optional, as a consequence the data refers to the population aged 15 or over.

3.7. Reference area

EU individual Member States and EFTA countries.

European aggregates (EU Member States) are calculated when sufficient data is available.

Data referring to candidate countries to the EU are also published if available.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data transmitted according to the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council is available from 2012.

Data according to Council Directive 95/57/EC on tourism statistics are available from 1990 onwards (depending on the Member State) and up to 2011.

3.9. Base period

[Not applicable]

4. Unit of measure Top

Data are expressed in absolute values and in thousands.

Participation data are expressed in percentage of population.

Data for expenditure on tourism trips are expressed in thousands of euro (from 1.1.1999) / ECU (up to 31.12.1998) and in thousands of national currency.

5. Reference Period Top

Data refer to the reference year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

From reference year 2012 onwards, the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism is regulated by the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2011 and its Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1051/2011 of 20 October 2011.

Up to reference year 2011, the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism was regulated by the Council Directive 95/57/EC on tourism statistics. The Commission Decision of December 1998 (1999/34/EC) implemented some aspects of this Directive. Amendments in 2004 and 2006 concerned the enlargement of the EU and recent changes in the world market for tourism.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Eurostat tourism statistics also serve as an input for a.o. OECD and UNWTO datasets.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to these confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The collection of micro-data is considered as confidential. For this reason micro-data is stored and processed in a secure environment.

After the aggregation process, tourism demand data is in principle not confidential.

However, to avoid the publication of figures which are statistically unreliable, Eurostat applies the following basis guidelines when disseminating aggregate tables:

  • an estimate shall not be published (data are flagged as confidential) if it is based on fewer than 20 sample observations,
  • an estimate shall be published with a flag (u) if it is based on 20 to 49 sample observations.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not available.

Data are released via Eurobase shortly after reception of the data transmitted by the Member State. Data are released when all validation rules are respected and when they are of sufficient quality.

8.2. Release calendar access

[Not available]

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

From reference period 2012: annual

Up to reference period 2011: annual and quarterly

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line. News releases are issued at 11 a.m CET on Eurostat's website.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications


Statistics in focus, pocketbooks and yearbooks in pdf format are accessible on Eurostat's website :


Statistics Explained

Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting many statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up an encyclopedia of European statistics, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the very latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users alike.

The page, which provides a clickable list of all articles in Statistics Explained on tourism, can be accessed under the following link:

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Tourism statistics are disseminated in the on-line database

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Overview of tourism statistics:

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The Methodological manual for tourism statistics contains a comprehensive set of recommendations on the compilation of the tourism statistics.

Further methodological documents are available on the tourism statistics related methodology section:

10.7. Quality management - documentation

National quality reports have been transmitted to Eurostat. They are not publicly available, but some information can be obtained on request.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Tourism statistics are compiled by the competent national statistics authorities. Data are collected and compiled in line with Regulation 692/2011 and with the Code of Practice applicable to all processes for collecting and compiling European statistics.

According to Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Article 6 (4)3), every year, Member States shall provide the Commission with a report on the quality of the data. The report shall be provided within 9 months after the end of the reference year.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

All aspects of the basic principles of quality of European statistics, listed in Regulation 223/2009 on European statistics are evaluated by Eurostat.

  • Timeliness and completeness: compliance with transmission deadlines and compliance with the data requirements is evaluated on a regular basis. The timeliness could still be improved by a number of Member States while the completeness is generally very good.
  • Punctuality: the tool EDIT/EBB is available for the validation of micro-data. This reduces the number of exchanges between Eurostat and Member States and consequently improves the punctuality of data disseminated on Eurostat public database.
  • Accessibility and clarity: micro-data are transmitted to Eurostat. This enables that data to be disseminated far more widely (since reference period 2012). Breaks in series, when observed, are flagged.
  • Accuracy: evolutions are systematically verified. When huge variations are observed, the reporting country is asked to confirm them.
  • Coherence and comparability: data are compared with population data. The comparison is generally very good.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The importance of the tourism sector for the economic, social and cultural development of Europe is generally acknowledged. Council Directive 95/57/EC of 23 November 1995 on the collection of statistical information in the field of tourism provided for the establishment of an information system on tourism statistics at Community level. The Directive has helped create national data collection systems with data on the capacity and occupancy of accommodation establishments, from a business perspective, and on tourism demand, from a visitors' perspective. The current availability of a system of tourism statistics in the European Union would not have been possible without the Directive.

The European Council stressed, in its Presidency Conclusions of 14 December 2007, the crucial role that tourism plays in generating growth and jobs in the EU and called on the Commission, Member States, industry and other stakeholders to join forces in the timely implementation of the Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism.

Any appraisal of the competitiveness of the Community tourism industry, which occupies an important place in the economy of the Member States, with tourist activities representing a large potential source of employment, requires a good knowledge of the volume of tourism, its characteristics, the profile of the tourist and tourism expenditure.

Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishes a common framework for the systematic development, production and dissemination of European statistics on tourism.

The statistics on tourism demand complete the partial picture given by the statistics on tourism supply (capacity and occupancy of collective accommodation establishments) which only reflect the tourist accommodation sector. Further, the tourism demand data allow to analyse the tourism patterns by the socio-demographic profile of the visitor.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Measured directly via download statistics for publications and feedback on publications or presentations.

12.3. Completeness

The Regulation has as a scope, trips made by individuals aged 15 and over. In general, the data are only representative for the population aged 15 years and over (totals also refer to this age group). Note that data for individuals younger than 15 can be sent on an optional basis.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The main possible source of error comes from the memory effect (respondents might forget trips and expenditure). This would lead to an underestimation of trips and expenses.

Sampling errors vary among variables. The main variables are relatively accurate (e.g. Number of trips with purpose "leisure, recreation and holidays") whereas more detailed variables have a larger sampling error (e.g. Number of trips by destination).

Non-response can be high for expenditure data. Data are in this case imputed by the Member State.

13.2. Sampling error

Not available.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

According to the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council, annual data on participation in tourism for personal purposes and micro-data on tourism trips and visitors making the trips, should be sent t+6 months after the reference period.

14.2. Punctuality

Data are released relatively soon after the reference period.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Breaks can be observed between the reference periods 2011 and 2012 due to the implementation of the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

According to the size of the sample, number of trips/nights and expenditure with some partner countries of relatively low importance can show high variations.

The residual partner zones "_OTH" have definition that can change according to the year. Consequently, data are not comparable over time.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Breaks can be observed between the reference period 2011 and 2012 due to the implementation of the Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Breaks at the level of Member States are described in footnotes (see Annex at the bottom of the page) and are flagged as such in the database.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

[Not applicable]

15.4. Coherence - internal

The quality checks and validation rules include checks on the internal coherence across tables and across reference periods.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Article 8 of Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council specifies that by 12 August 2016, and every 5 years thereafter, the Commission shall submit an evaluation report to the European Parliament and to the Council on tourism statistics, in particular on their relevance and the burden on business.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

No revision policy

17.2. Data revision - practice

Tourism data are subject to revisions.

Major changes in EU-methodology are the result of legislation, and therefore announced in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The majority of the Member States compile this information via household surveys in which the respondents are asked to report on their trips during the reference period (a month, a quarter). In a few cases, the information is collected via visitor surveys at the border.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Surveys are conducted generally on monthly or quarterly basis.

Data are transmitted to Eurostat on an annual basis.

18.3. Data collection

Tourism demand data are collected by Member States by the way of

  • Postal questionnaire
  • Telephone interviews
  • Face-to-face interviews


These figures are transmitted exclusively via eDAMIS, respecting the formats as specified by Eurostat.

According to Regulation (EU) 692/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the data comprise four datasets:

  • The participation in tourism (annual data - first reference period 2012) and the main reasons for not participating in tourism (triennial data - first reference period 2013)
  • The micro-data on tourism trips and visitors making the trips (annual data - first reference period 2012)
  • The data on outbound same-day visits (annual data - first reference period 2014)
  • The data on domestic same-day visits (triennial data - first reference period 2015 optional, 2018 compulsory)

Data must be transmitted within six months after the end of the reference period.

18.4. Data validation

Data are pre-validated by the Member State.

Member State should send data files:

  • Complete
  • Consistent with format description
  • Imputed
  • Internally consistent

Eurostat makes some additional validation on micro-data, such as plausibility, detection of outliers and other verifications on aggregated data such as verifying the internal consistency of aggregated data, time validation and comparison with other sources. 

18.5. Data compilation

Data conversion

Data conversion consists in associating micro-data records to the correct dissemination code. Codes used in the tourism database have been harmonised as much as possible with the codes used in Eurobase.

Indicators calculation

As from 2012, data on trips of EU residents (from national tourism surveys) are transmitted to Eurostat in the form of micro-data. Each record represents and includes information both on the trip (duration, purpose, destination, expenditure for this trip, means of transport...) and on the tourist (sex, age, educational level). The Member States also provide information on the weight of each record (from sample to population).

Taking into account all the records with their respective weight, aggregated data on number of trips, number of nights and expenditure combined with trips characteristics and tourist profile are calculated.

EU aggregate calculation

European aggregates (EU Member States) are calculated (simple sum) when data from all countries composing the aggregate are present. Where possible/appropriate, an algorithm is used to impute missing country data in order to allow the calculation of EU aggregates.

18.6. Adjustment

[Not applicable]

19. Comment Top

Special warnings

Please consult the file containing footnotes (See annex at the bottom of the page).

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Definition partner zones