T-Stats for the Middle East

This week I’m in Kuwait City, looking at how to improve their tourism statistics.  Whilst the country may not be one of the most obvious when you think of holiday destinations, it is looking to expand its tourism product, and it has a fascinating and beautiful city centre with some captivating buildings that would thrill architects for starters!

But that’s not why I’m posting this.  Whilst compiling a list of all the tourism statistics the country does have (and it’s surprising what is available: accommodation occupancy, visitor arrivals, visitors to museums, and airport passenger/airplane arrivals and departures to name a few) it is abundantly clear that the only real way to organise this lot into something that will be easily accessible to the Kuwaitis for planning, marketing and monitoring the sector is an online database.  It staggers me that so many countries still don’t do this.  Within a few weeks we can have this data online and organised in such a way that it is working for them, and giving them something back from all the effort of collecting the numbers.

I hear from my friends in Saudi and Oman that there is talk of a regional tourism statistics database…now that would be a great step forward.  And what better place to do it than amongst the forward-thinking GCC countries.
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Presenting data in engaging and useful ways

You don’t have to go far on the Internet or in printed media to find uninspiring presentation of tourism statistics – you’ve only to look here at New York City (USA) stats http://www.nycgo.com/articles/nyc-statistics-page for a classic example…a mass of numbers and little else – so much potential but so little delivery.

Nyc_data

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A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

You don’t have to go far on the Internet or in printed media to find unispiring presentation of tourism statistics – you’ve only to look here at New York City (USA) stats http://www.nycgo.com/articles/nyc-statistics-page for a classic example…a mass of numbers and little else – so much potential but so little delivery.

Nyc_data

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Tourism Statistics are Boring!

Compared to other sectors, I think that the way the tourism sector presents data is pretty dull. Have a look at this excellent programme produced for BBC4 called “The Joy of Stats”. There’s some great examples of how statistics and be “sexy” and I think the tourism sector can learn from this.

As a regular feature, we are going to take some boring tourism statistics and present them in a more interesting format…starting with some incredibly dull statistics on the New York City site: http://www.nycgo.com/articles/nyc-statistics-page.

Our T-Stats data presentation guru, Joe Heym will get these stats looking really sexy and bring them to life.

THE JOY OF (TOURISM) STATS – by Kevin Millington

Michael Bloomberg once commented, when wanting know exactly what was going on in New York: In God we trust, but for everything else give me statistics.

Just like any industry, tourism needs to be measured. The trouble with tourism is that unlike most other industries it is more complex to gauge. Leaving aside the logistics of measuring visitors, tourism has so many facets that keeping track of it is a challenge. When we talk about measuring tourism or developing tourism statistics, we may be referring to accommodation occupancy data, the number of visitor arrivals, perhaps the economic impact of a festival, or the number of coaches parking in a city centre.  We may be measuring the average spend per visitor, or their experiences at a destination, or maybe the levels of confidence of hotels, restaurants and attractions regarding the year ahead.

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