Tourism accounts

What does the research do


The tourism accounts give a quantitative description of tourism in line with the concepts of the national accounts. They provide insight into the value added and employment associated with tourism.

Domain description

The tourism accounts comprise the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for leisure, business travel and other activities not related to activities that are remunerated from the place visited. A time criterion is used for defining the normal environment. The normal setting is left if an activity, including travel, lasts more than two hours, but less than a year.
The most important key indicators of the tourism accounts are tourist spending, tourist domestic product and tourist employment.

Initial research

The series runs from 2010 onwards. The series is based on the revised figures from the national accounts (Revision 2015). Figures have been recalibrated based on internal and external data sources.



Publication strategy

The tourism accounts follow the publication strategy of the national accounts. Provisional data are published 8 months after the end of the reporting year. Final data are released 20 months after the end of the reporting year. Since the end of June 2016 the release and revision policy of the national accounts have been changed. Information about the release and revision policy of the Dutch National Accounts can be found here: release and revision policy.

The tourism accounts are published annually on StatLine, the electronic database of the CBS.

How is it done

Key sources

The main sources used are the Continuous Holiday Survey, Continuous Leisure Survey, Statistics Incoming Tourism and Continuous Business Travel Survey (NBTC), and the national accounts (CBS).

Global structure integration framework

The expenditures of the national accounts are distributed to tourist and non-tourist spending. This happens for the so-called characteristic tourism expenditures (hotel and catering, transport and travel agency, cultural services, sports and other recreational activities) and for other expenditures (including fun shopping). Per activity the value added related to tourism and the employment related to tourism has been determined.

What is the quality of the results

Sequential comparison

Yes. The tourism accounts follow the continuity strategy of the national accounts. This strategy implies that the correct measurement of developments is more important than the actual level of a certain variable.


Every five years, the national accounts are subject to a thorough revision. In a revision for a given year all level variables are recalibrated based on data sources. New sources and calculation methods are implemented. After the revision of the national accounts, the tourism accounts are revised as well.

Description quality strategy

Developments in tourist spending, are checked for plausibility. It is also verified that the tourism totals do not exceed the national totals.