A tale of two surveys

Heeley, J and McVey, M (1985) A tale of two surveys. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 11 (2). pp. 67-69. ISSN 0306-7866

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The dearth of reliable market intelligence in tourism is frequently remarked upon. At the regional and local levels, market information is usually either absent or incomplete. At the national level, where regular surveys exist to monitor tourism flows, the data frequently exists discrepancies and are of questionable validity. More specifically there exists a disparity in the latest estimates for domestic tourism spending in Scotland when the Scottish Tourist Board's figures, drawn from its National Survey of Tourism in Scotland (NSTS), are compared with those contained in the British Home Tourism Survey (BHTS) produced by the combined research services department of the British Tourist Authority and English Tourist Board. This economic perspective considers the implications of poor market intelligence for the planning and decision making potential of the Scottish tourist industry.