Exploring mobile network data for tourism statistics: the collaboration between Istat and Vodafone Business Italia

L. Cavallo, E. Cerasti, M. Di Torrice, A. Righi, M.T. Santoro, T. Tuoto, L. Valentino, D. Di Sorte, M. Rossi, A. Zaramella, D. Bertocchi, G. Mantegari, B. Zamengo. Rivista di statistica ufficiale, 3/2022, pp. 43-76.

The paper describes the collaboration between Istat and Vodafone Business Italia to innovate and enhance tourism statistics. The common goal is to evaluate the potential uses of mobile phone data in current surveys and to investigate new outputs for official statistics, such as visiting routes and means of transport. The analysis concerned inbound tourism (foreigners in Italy), domestic tourism (Italians in Italy), and outbound tourism (Italians abroad). The work presents analyses and results for the Province of Rimini and the Municipality of Roma, referred to August 2019/2020 and April 2020, and a trial of the use of the “Welcome SMS” for the estimate of the residents in Italy who travel to foreign countries. Phone data required specific treatments to meet the definitions of official statistics. Some aspects related to the location and definition of overnight stays will require further investigation.

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