International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics

On basic tourism statistics: IRTS 2008

On basic tourism statistics: IRTS 2008


The International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 (also known as IRTS 2008) provides a comprehensive methodological framework for collection and compilation of tourism statistics in all countries irrespective of the level of development of their statistical systems.

The IRTS 2008 provides the main concepts, definitions and classifications for the measurement of tourism in a standard way across countries. The core of these concepts and definitions are included in Glossary of Tourism Terms.

Its primary audience is the staff of national statistical offices and national tourism administrations involved in the compilation of tourism statistics. The publication also contains a wealth of information that may be of interest to data users who would like to better understand the nature of tourism data. In addition, it provides general guidance with respect to data sources and data compilation methods.

Quick overview of contents:

The IRTS 2008 was approved by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its 39th session (26-29 February 2008). It revises and replaces the previous 1993 Recommendations on Tourism Statistics (1993 RTS) adopted by the Commission in 1993 and published in 1994 (the IRTS 2008 – Annex 1 shows the main differences between the 1993 RTS and the IRTS 2008).

The IRTS 2008 has real implications for the way policy-makers and other stakehorlders understand and manage tourism; see Papers.