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«Overseas Travel and Tourism User Guide (Volume 1) Background & Methodology (2014) Page | 2 Table of contents Background to the International ...»

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International Passenger


Overseas Travel and Tourism

User Guide (Volume 1)

Background & Methodology


Page | 2

Table of contents

Background to the International Passenger Survey

1 The International Passenger Survey

2 History of the IPS

2.1 Survey Timeline

3 Primary purpose, Users and Uses of the IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism data........ 10

3.1 Primary purpose

3.2 Users of IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism data

3.3 Uses of the IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism data

Figure A Uses of IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism estimates

Table 1 Uses of the Overseas Travel and Tourism data by main IPS users and sponsors

3.4 Assessment of User needs and perceptions

Design and Data collection 4 Survey design

Map 1 International Passenger Survey locations

5 Sampling design

Figure B Example of sample drawn for a two-week period for Heathrow airport......... 16 Figure C Example of sub-sample sheet for arrivals shift (2 in 1 sub-sample).............. 17 Figure D The application of the IPS two-stage sampling

Figure E Passengers included in Overseas Travel and Toursim estimates............... 19

5.1 Sampling ports and routes

5.2 Air routes

5.3 Sea routes

5.4 Tunnel routes

5.5 Exclusions from the IPS sample

6 Historical changes to sampling

6.1 Changes made prior to 2009

6.2 Changes made in 2009

6.3 Sample revisions during the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games

7 Changes in methodology

7.1 Changes to the collection of data from travellers to and from the Irish Republic from 1999 onwards

7.2 Changes in methodology. 2005

7.3 Changes in methodology. 2007

7.4 Changes in methodology. 2009

7.5 Changes in methodology. 2010

Page | 3 8 Fieldwork

9 The IPS questionnaire

9.1 Main concepts

9.2 Trailer questionnaires

Figure F Flow through departures questionnaire

Figure G Flow through arrivals questionnaire

9.3 Piloting the IPS questionnaire

9.4 Primary purpose of the pilot

9.5 Restrictions on the questionnaire

IPS Data Processing 10 Weighting

10.1 Weighting stages

10.2 Imputation

10.3 Seasonal adjustment

10.4 Constant proces

10.5 Additional sources of data

Quality of the IPS 11 Strengths and Limitations

11.1 Strengths

11.2 Limitations

Non-sampling error

Sampling error

12 Response rates

Table 2 IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism response rate by quarter, 2013................. 42 Table 3 IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism full response, 2013

Publication & Dissemination 13 Dissemination & Publications

13.1 Publications

13.2 Accessing datasets

13.3 Other analyses

–  –  –

The purpose of this User Guide is to provide background information for users of the IPS Overseas Travel and Tourism data. Further information regarding Migration estimates, derived from the IPS is available via the ONS website.

Approximately 95 per cent of passengers travelling to and from the UK have a chance of being selected to take part in the IPS. The remainder are either passengers arriving or leaving the UK by air at night, when interviewing is suspended, or on those routes too small in volume or too expensive to be covered.

Interviewing is carried out throughout the year. In total, between 700,000 and 800,000 interviews are conducted each year for migration purposes and a sub set of approximately 250,000 interviews forms the basis of the Overseas Travel and Tourism estimates.

Data collected include: country of visit (for UK residents), country of residence and region of the UK visited (for overseas residents), purpose of visit, length of stay, expenditure, age group, gender, mode of transport, and UK port of entry or departure.

The IPS data are weighted to produce national estimates of all international travellers to and from the UK on a quarterly basis. The calculation of the weights for the IPS takes into account its complex sample design and information provided from other sources on total passenger traffic for all sampled and non-sampled routes and time periods. For example, estimates of spending by travellers to and from the Channel Islands are modelled from information provided by the Economic Advisor’s Office in Jersey, and the Central Statistical Office in the Irish Republic provides information on travellers crossing the land border with Northern Ireland.

The IPS estimates feed into the Travel Account of the Balance of Payments (BoP) and provide information on international travel and tourism (that is, visits between the UK and abroad of less than 12 months), and provide a primary source of data on long and short-term migrants, that can be used by Office for National Statistics Centre for Demography (ONSCD) in the provision of migration and population estimates. The survey results are used by various organisations including the ONS, the Department for Culture, Media & Sports, the Department for Transport, the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs, VisitBritain and the national and regional Tourist Boards.

Page | 5 Provisional monthly Overseas Travel and Tourism estimates are available six weeks after the end of the fieldwork month; quarterly datasets are available four months after the end of the quarter; and annual datasets are available approximately five months after the end of the year. Annual national estimates are created by combining the four quarters of the year together. The monthly estimates provide a limited overview of the number of visits to and from the UK and the expenditure associated with these visits, however, a single quarter is the minimum period over which most detailed analyses of the data can be made. The monthly and quarterly releases are provisional estimates because the data is subject to revision during the quarterly and annual production (see the IPS revisions policy for more details).

2 History of the IPS The International Passenger Survey (IPS) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 20101. Its

inception in 1961 was reported in the then Board of Trade Journal as follows:

  ‘A new regular sample survey of sea and air passengers travelling between the United Kingdom and the continent of Europe, and on the long air routes beyond Europe, was introduced by the Government Social Survey on behalf of the Board of Trade during 1961 and 1962. This new system of interviewing a small proportion (up to 4 percent on some routes) of travellers has enabled the important contribution made by tourist and other travellers to the balance of payments to be measured without interfering with the free flow of passengers at our sea and air ports. Nine out of ten of those approached attempted to give all the information asked of them, and more than 80 per cent were able to make an estimate of their expenditure whilst abroad. Over 150,000 successful interviews were made during the year2.’ Since then, the IPS has been, and continues to be, a key source of primary data related to international travel. The salient features of the surveys’ evolution are shown in the following timeline.

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