Tourism project : Measuring tourism economic impacts at sub-national level


The economy-wide effects of tourism are significant. Tourism has linkages with a wide range of  industries  (e.g.  transport,  agriculture)  and services  (e.g.  telecommunication,  services, water). Much has been done in the past 20 years to improve the economic measurement of tourism at national level, but rather little has been done at sub-national level. At national level, for example, the OECD has played a leading role in the development of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) methodology.

Recent policy work of the OECD has highlighted the growing role of the regions in tourism development, the new division of labour between central government and regions, and the benefits and opportunities associated with a decentralised approach to tourism development, including the ability to reduce regional income and employment disparities in the country. In many countries, regions now have a key responsibility/competency for tourism policy and product development and promotion. OECD work has also shown the role of the central government in developing a national and long-term vision in tourism, engaging all stakeholders and all the government in a “whole-of- government” approach.

In this context, the challenge for countries is to develop at sub-national level a qualitative system of information and statistics on tourism, comparable among regions and with national data. The review will aim at supporting a better measurement of the economic impacts of tourism at regional and local levels.


The review will propose orientations for statistical improvements. On one side, it will explore, using the TSA, a new methodological approach identifying the main elements to be considered when measuring the economic and social impacts of tourism at the sub-national level.

On the other side, it will collect current country initiatives and practices for measuring the economic  impacts  at  sub-national level.  It  will  analyse  the  indicators  used  in  terms  of  policy relevance  or  comparability  in  order  to  assess  their  overall value,  especially  in  an  international context.

This activity will be undertaken in co-operation with other organisations involved in this area such as the World Tourism Organization and Eurostat. The Tourism Committee will work with knowledge networks active at the sub-national level.


Expected output result

A methodological framework for measuring tourism economic impacts at sub-national level, including a review of good country practices, to be completed in 2014.



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Related Documents


About the OECD Tourism Committee (doc)

About the OECD Tourism Committee