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tourism statistics with data from the mobile network

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tourism statistics with data from the mobile network

Innovate and improve tourism statistics. This is the goal of the collaboration between State e Vodafone Business Italy who have carried out a study on the turismo inbound (foreigners in Italy), outbound (Italians abroad) and domestic (Italians in Italy) by integrating official statistics with data from mobile phones.

The investigation concerned the Province of Rimini and the Municipality of Rometwo areas with a strong tourist vocation, between August 2019 e August 2020allowing the comparison between tourist flows before and after the pandemic. Three case studies developed: arrivals and presences of Italian and foreign tourists; day visits by Italian and foreign tourists; departures of Italians abroad.

The technology used is that of Vodafone Analyticswhich collects in real time data on the activity of the mobile telephone network, thus guaranteeing very precise temporal and spatial information, with algorithms developed to meet the requirements of official statistics, in full compliance with privacy legislation.

The use of data from mobile network for the production of tourism statistics, already tested at an international level, it proves to be an added value for integrating and enriching the current Istat tourism surveys, in particular for the ability to provide information in real time and with high territorial detail.

In the perspective of a public-private partnership that improves regulated access to data, including mobile telephony, for the production of official statistics, as envisaged by the so-called European data strategythe collaboration tested between Istat and Vodafone Business Italia represents a significant precedent, which demonstrates how telephony data can enrich and complete the production of official statistics and provide insights into emerging phenomena only partially covered by traditional data sources.

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“The collaboration between Istat and Vodafone Business Italia demonstrates the statistical value of mobile telephony data in a complementary way to the official data for the production of tourism statistics, and opens up new possibilities also in other sectors – he has declared Lorenzo Forina, Vodafone Business Italia. The big data generated by Vodafone Analytics technology, aggregated and made anonymous in full compliance with privacy legislation, can open up new perspectives for analysis with a greater level of detail, such as the time dimension and precise monitoring of data on the territory. The results of this partnership with Istat will inspire new projects, accelerated by the national and European dimension of Vodafone and by the active role of Istat in the statistical community”.

Credit: Rama Knight Photographer – www.ramaknight.com

“We live immersed in a world that continuously produces data. Each of us produces this data when we access the services of an increasingly digital and connected public administration, when we travel even with just a smartphone in our pocket, when we use social media or make a purchase online or in a shop. – explains Monica Pratesi, head of the Statistical Production Department of ISTAt. These data can be used to measure many aspects of our reality in an innovative way and to create new knowledge and value-added services on data by companies, public administrations, academia and research institutions”.

The Istat-Vodafone collaboration, which is not unique, is placed precisely in this perspective: “In fact, Istat is interested in sharing more and more extensive information with the outside world on what it is doing in terms of the use of big data and the production of (experimental) statistics and Of Trusted smart statistics – adds Pratesi – precisely by activating collaborations and partnerships capable of guaranteeing continuous progress in these areas”.

The project is analyzed in the article “Exploring mobile network data for tourism statistics: the collaboration between Istat and Vodafone Business Italia” published on Official statistics review n. 3/2022.

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