Workshop on the Use of Mobile Positioning Data for Tourism Statistics

14 May 2014, 13:00-17:00, Prague (CZ), Czech Statistical Office


During the period December 2012 – March 2014, a consortium consisting of six main partners [Positium LBS (EE), NIT (DE), Statistics Finland (FI), IFSTTAR (FR), Statistics Estonia (EE), University of Tartu (EE)] conducted a feasibility study on the use of mobile positioning data for tourism statistics, commissioned by EUROSTAT.

The origins of the project included the need for more timely, complete and cost-efficient data and was inspired by geo-political and technological changes as well as promising research results.

The methodology explored in the study was the use of location information from memory files of mobile operators for statistical purposes. The aim was to assess the feasibility of using such data for estimating domestic, outbound and inbound flows and the study addressed strengths and weaknesses related to (among others) access, trust, cost and methodological challenges (delimiting tourism, representativeness).

This workshop will discuss the main results of the project, as well as an outlook to the future, with a target audience of tourism statisticians, researchers and users of tourism related data.

The event is organised on 14 May back-to-back with the 12th Global Forum on Tourism Statistics, taking place in Prague on 15-16 May 2014, in other to facilitate attending the workshop without incurring additional travel costs. Keep in mind, the places available are limited. Please don't wait too long to register your intention to participate.

Registration for the Workshop

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13:00 - 13:20 Welcome and introduction by Eurostat (Christophe Demunter, EUROSTAT) PDF

13:20 - 15:30 Presentation of the study's findings PDF

  • Introduction (Margus Tiru, Positium, Estonia)
  • Taking stock of state-of-the-art in research and applications (Rein Ahas, University of Tartu, Estonia)
  • Feasibility of data access - the regulatory, business and technological aspects (Margus Tiru, Positium, Estonia)
  • Feasibility of use (1) - methodological issues and the process (Margus Tiru, Positium, Estonia)
  • Feasibility of use (2) - coherence of statistics produced from mobile positioning data with other (traditional) sources (Ossi Nurmi, Statistics Finland, Finland)
  • Potential opportunities and benefits (Ulf Sonntag, NIT, Germany)

(each presentation will be followed by a brief questions & answers session)

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 - 17:00 Next steps

  • Short presentations by country on current and future initiatives in the use of mobile positioning data (Jiří Novobilský, CE-Traffic, Czech Republic - PDF;  Peter Laimer, Statistics Austria - PDF; Nico Heerschap, Statistics Netherlands - PDF)
  • Short presentation by EUROSTAT on use of Big Data for statistics (Christophe Demunter, EUROSTAT) PDF
  • Panel discussion on next steps, in individual countries and in Europe (all of the above speakers and Sophie Limpach, EUROSTAT)

Reports of the Feasibility Study

You will find the reports available for download on this website under the Reports menu.

Photos from the Event