Tourism statistics are important for policymakers to make prudent decisions and for researchers to conduct rigorous research. However, statistics are inherently political. This article highlights three areas where tourism statistics appear misleading, serving industry and government interests. First, United Nations World Tourism Organization's interpretation of national sovereignty such that domestic tourism arrivals are counted as international tourism arrivals. Second, United Nations World Tourism Organization's use of terminology with respect to international tourists and international trips, using both terms interchangeably. Third, anomalies in tourism statistics reported by various governments and international organizations. More critical analysis needs to be undertaken when reporting data. Researchers should use official statistics with caution.
- tourist arrivals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Nature and Landscape Conservation