Eesti Pank starts publishing international travel statistics
In 2012, Eesti Pank starts publishing international travel statistics based on mobile positioning. The statistics time series complete with comments will be published on 9 March.
Mobile positioning uses phone roaming (call, SMS, data transmission operation, etc.) in the coverage area of the foreign mobile operator to determine the visit of a physical person abroad during the person's stay outside the country of residence.
International travel statistics will be published across quarters in two tables, one of which records the outbound travel of people living in Estonia and the other covers inbound travel to Estonia. Data are recorded for 30 countries and in addition to the number of visits (including overnight visits), data on the duration of visits are also published. International travel statistics cover data as from 2008.
The new data collection methodology is the result of cooperation between Eesti Pank and OÜ Positium LBS, which includes scientists from Tartu University. Mobile positioning data are collected and processed by OÜ Positium LBS, which receives encrypted data from phone companies, so the privacy of phone users remains protected. Specific methodological descriptions are published on the web page of Eesti Pank with statistics.
International tourism makes up about 25% of Estonia's exports of services, so it is an important part of the Estonian economy. Eesti Pank uses statistics on international travel in calculating the exports and imports of travel services in the current account of the balance of payments. A statement on statistics on international travel is published once a year, when Eesti Pank discloses data on the entire calendar year. Statistical data are published once a quarter.
Quarterly statistics on international travel in the period 2008-2011 will be published on the web page of Eesti Pank on 9 March at 12.00. Data on the following quarters will be published on 18 May (Q1 of 2012), on 17 August (Q2 of 2012) and on 19 November (Q3 of 2012).