Methodology T

The Statistics and Accounts of Tourism Companies is a structural operation designed to annually monitor companies that produce goods and services that are consumed by tourists.

The Statistics and Accounts of Tourism Companies is based on the Catalan Classification of Economic Activities 2009 (CCAE-2009). This classification is essential both for the production and the dissemination of business statistics. However, with the CCAE-2009 it is sometimes complicated to monitor some relevant sectors from the point of view of economic analysis or public policies, as the CCAE-2009 does not offer a direct delimitation of these sectors. If this extension is not made, it is unfeasible, for example, to directly monitor the effect on the business environment of economic policies addressed at sectors that are not in the CCAE-2009 (for example, the cultural or tourism sector). These delimitation difficulties may occur because these sectors are defined more by the demand side than the offer side and because they group activities that are highly disparate in terms of the CCAE-2009 (for example, including industrial as well as service activities).

This extension of classifications enables, for example, the analysis of sectors by economic destination (consumption, investment, intermediate goods), by technological level or intensity of knowledge, or by demand (tourism, cultural sector, etc.). These new sectors are frequently adapted to highly relevant economic policies. A clear example is the tourism sector.

The Statistics and Accounts of Tourism Companies present annual data from 2008 to 2012, corresponding to the operating balance of companies, the employment, R&D and innovation of these companies and, finally, their use of ICT. In terms of the statistical sources used, these are the results of the Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector, the Survey on R&D and Innovation in Companies and the Survey on the Equipment and Use of ICT in Companies

The general objective of this project is to provide statistics synthesising different sources to enable annual multidimensional monitoring of the tourism sector in a sustained manner.

According to the International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 produced by the United Nations the production of tourism statistics is required for the following reasons:

  • Tourism has an impact on the economy.
  • Having more than one set of reliable statistics helps to make more effective political decisions.
  • They help to design marketing strategies.

The same Recommendations also point out that, although tourism is generated on the demand side, this demand has an impact on the offer of goods and services produced in a territory. This offer generates a set of production units or companies, whose production is aimed at the consumption of tourism. Therefore, in order to produce a complete list of statistical products related with tourism, according to the United Nations, there is a need to balance this statistical offer with those that make it possible to determine the behaviour of the units that produce tourism goods and services.

From a methodological point of view the delimitation of the tourism sector, the criteria followed are those of the tourism sector's satellite accounts in consideration that the base information can be disaggregated to the four digits of the CCAE-2009 and only the market offer is considered (see delimitation of the tourism sector).

1. Delimitation of the tourism sector

The tourism sector is highly relevant in terms of economic analysis and, in turn, is complex to delimit in terms of the classification of activities, as it has branches that form part of different sections and different services.

The delimitation of the tourism sector presents certain difficulties, because this sector does not appear in classifications of economic activities as a single activity branch. This is because tourism is determined by the use of goods and services by certain groups (demand). These goods and services are offered by a variety of activities or branches. So, the tourism sector, like the tourism industry, refers to a set of industrial or commercial activities that produce goods and services that are totally or partially consumed by foreign visitors or domestic tourists.

1.1. Characteristic activities of tourism

Although tourists can spend money on any category of product, to facilitate international comparisons and to be able to construct a system of accounts, international tourism methodologies propose that products or activities related with the displacement of people should be highlighted, such as transport, accommodation, travel agents, etc.

To produce a list of the characteristic activities of tourism, the basic criteria are those exposed in available methodologies in tourism satellite accounts and that make a classification of activities associated to tourism. These activities produce products (goods and services) that are characteristic of tourism. In principle, the idea is for the delimitation of these statistics to be as homogenous as possible with the recommendations of these international methodologies.

Note that this approach could represent an under-evaluation of the activity generated by tourism, because it does not consider other economic activities that partly contribute to the activity of the tourism sector and, in the same regard, could represent an overestimation of the extent to which the considered branches develop their activity exclusively to meet touristic demands.

Characteristic activities of tourism
Transport of tourism
Road transport, except merchandise by road 491, 493
Marine and air transport of passengers and activities related to air transport 501, 503, 511, 5223
Hotels and similar accommodation 551
Tourism accommodation and other short-duration accommodation 552
Camp sites and other types of accommodation 553, 559
Restaurants and dining establishments 561
Provision of meals prepared for celebrations and other dining services 562
Drinking establishments 563
Other tourism services
Real estate activities 682, 6832
Rental activities 7711, 7721, 7734, 7735
Travel agents, tour operators and other reservation service activities 79
Organization of conventions and trade fairs 823
Creative, artistic and show activities 90
Museums and other cultural activities 9102, 9103, 9104
Gambling and betting activities 92
Sports, recreation and entertainment activities 9311, 9319, 9321, 9329

2. Sources of information

The information on the tourism sector presented in this publication was obtained from already existing statistical sources. In each of the tables, the data is classified by the main activity of the company; i.e. the definition of the tourism sector involved the use of a focus by sectors. In some cases, it was not possible to obtain representative results at a high level of disaggregation by activity branches. In these cases, it was decided that the results should be offered in the most disaggregated manner possible, maintaining the desired level of representativeness. The main concepts and statistical operations used are briefly described hereinafter:

The subjects covered and the sources of information used are:

  • From the Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector a series of macromagnitudes is obtained to show the production and value added of tourism companies and other variables referring to the number of companies and employment.
  • The Survey on Research and Development offers data on personnel and types of expenditure on these activities in the tourism sector.
  • The Survey on Innovation in Companies provides information on expenditure on innovation and the percentage of innovative companies.
  • The Survey on the Use of ICT and e-Commerce in companies provides the percentage of companies that make use of ICT and e-commerce.

2.1. Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector

The Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector (called the Annual Services Survey prior to the reference year 2014), covers companies dedicated to trade, tourism, transport, information technologies, real estate and rental, and company services.

This source contains information on the main structural characteristics of the companies in its field. For the Statistics and Accounts of Tourism Companies, a series of economic magnitudes and items is shown that reflects the importance of the tourism sector for the Catalan economy.

The variables used in these Statistics are as follows:

Number of companies

Persons employed

People that permanently or temporarily contribute, through provision of their labour, to the production of goods and services, or that perform auxiliary activities for the company (administration, transport, storage).


Employed people that are associated to the company by a labour contract and are paid fixed or periodical amounts (salary, wage, commission, piecework or in kind).


Sum of the amounts invoiced by the company over the reference year for the provision of services and sale of goods that are the object of the company's traffic. Sales are accounted for without including value added tax (VAT) and in net terms.

Consumption and work done by other companies

TSum of the value of consumption (purchases minus stock variation) of raw materials, other supplies and goods, and the value of work carried out by other companies or professionals in the sector. (This work must be part of their production process.)

Expenditure on exterior services

Expenditure on services of a variety of different natures and provided by third parties.

Expenditure on personnel

Expenditure on all payments made by the company to its personnel in return for their work, as well as social charges paid by the company.

2.2. Statistics about R&D Activities

The Statistics about R&D Activities provides information about expenditure on these activities. For the purposes of these Statistics, only the business sector is considered, although these statistics also contain data on other institutional sectors, such as higher education, public administrations and private non-profit making institutions.

Internal expenditure on R&D

Internal expenditure on R&D includes all amounts destined for R&D activities conducted within the unit or research centre. Also includes expenditure outside of the company in support of internal R&D tasks.

This data refers to companies with activities in Catalonia, regardless of where their headquarters is located.

2.3. Survey on Innovation in companies

The Survey on Innovation in Companies is aimed at all agricultural, industrial, construction and services companies with 10 or more wage-earners.

The variables used for this Survey are as follows:

Expenditure on technological innovation

Total expenditure on all technological innovation activities, including internal and external expenditure on R&D and expenditure in relation to other innovative activities.

Companies with technological innovation activities

A technological innovation is a product (good or service) introduced new or significantly improved market or a new or significantly improved process introduced in the company. R&D (internal or external) is only one of these activities. It also includes activities involving the acquisition of machinery and equipment related with technologically new or improved products and processes, the acquisition of other external knowledge, training, and the commercialization and design of other preparations for production and/or distribution. All companies are taken into consideration that conduct innovative activities in Catalonia, regardless of where their headquarters are located.

Companies with innovations in the period

This includes both companies with technological innovations and companies with non-technological innovations. All companies are taken into consideration that conduct innovative activities in Catalonia, regardless of where their headquarters are located. The reference period includes the reference year and the two previous years.

Companies with technological innovations in the period

A technological innovation, as defined for this Survey, is a product (good or service) that is new or considerably improved and is put on the market, or a new or considerably improved process introduced to the company. The reference period includes the reference year and the two previous years.

Companies with non-technological innovations in the period

A non-technological innovation includes both the implementation of new organisational methods in the internal operations of a company, and the implementation of new commercial strategies or concepts that have not been used before. The reference period includes the reference year and the two previous years.

2.4. Survey on the Use of ICT and e-Commerce in Companies

The Survey on the Use of ICT and e-Commerce in Companies (ETICCE) reports on the situation of Catalan companies in relation to the provision and use of ICT and e-commerce.

The study population in accordance with the CCAE-2009 is formed by companies whose main activity is described in sections C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, the divisions from 69 to 74 of section M, section N and, finally, group 95.1. The ETICCE separately studies companies with 10 employees or more and companies with less than 10 employees.

In producing these Statistics, the results were taken from all companies with headquarters in Catalonia and whose activity is included among those described in the definition of the tourism sector. The results are disaggregated into 4 activity groups in accordance with the CCAE-2009: Transport and storage (codes 491, 493, 501, 503, 511 and 5223), Accommodation services (code 55), Dining and beverage services (code 56) and Other tourism services (codes 682, 6832, 7711, 7721, 7734, 7735, 79, 823, 90, 9102, 9103, 9104, 92, 9311, 9319, 9321 and 9329).

The reference year for the table titled Main indicators of the use of ICT and e-commerce corresponds to the reference period of the data in relation to purchases and sales by means of e-commerce, while the variables on the equipment and use of ICT (Internet connection, website, broadband and e-mail) refer to January of the year after the one indicated.

The variables used in this publication are as follows:

  • Internet connection
  • Broadband connection
  • Availability of website
  • Availability of e-mail (variable available until 2012)
  • Purchases by e-commerce
  • Sales by e-commerce
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Menéame
  • Digg

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