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Country experience: Turkey 

14.407.        The compilation system of Turkey entails some advantages for mode of supply analysis. The first advantage stems from the prior existence of a breakdown of travel, that comes close to an EBOPS 2010 classification, by type of product for mode 2 purposes for both travel credit and debit and personal and business travel. (Expenditure on package tour —the share pertaining to Turkey for credit and that pertaining to non-residents for debit—is not included). The travel item is broken down as follows: (a) goods, (b) local transport services, (c) accommodation services, (d) food-serving services, (e) health services and (f) sports, education and culture.[1] In addition, some mode 4 type of transactions can be identified through ITRS forms.  

14.408.        It may be useful to provide more information on the Turkish Statistical Institute’s travel surveys, which are conducted in cooperation with the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in connection with mode 4 purposes. These are quarterly face-to-face surveys conducted at the border gates, on a nationality basis. For instance, the departing non-resident visitors survey for travel credit is carried out at 25 border gates, covering 90 percent of all departing visitors according to the departure mode (air, road, rail and sea). Over the years, new departure gates have been added and existing gates excluded. The purpose of the survey is to determine the traveller’s profile (age, sex, education level, occupational status) and travel characteristics (purpose of visit, place stayed, accommodation type, nights spent, types of expenditures) in order to estimate the travel income for Turkey from foreigners and citizens residing abroad. The number of foreign visitors is based on the administrative border statistics of the Directorate General for Security for the related periods that cover all arrivals and departures at all border gates, in terms of the details covered, which include citizen or foreign status, nationality, month and border gate, for both overnight visitors and excursionists. 

14.409.        The survey is carried out for overnight visitors and excursionists with a 0.5 per cent sample rate to estimate on the basis of means of departure and nationality, and estimations are provided quarterly for 26 selected nations and 10 country groups.[2] The sample survey results estimate average expenditures, with a breakdown of overnight stays and excursions, which are expanded with the related border statistics of the Directorate General for Security. In order to estimate average expenditure figures for Turkish travellers abroad, sample surveys are also conducted on a quarterly basis for resident visitors arriving in Turkey. 

14.410.        In the light of the above considerations, the departing non-resident visitors  survey has questions on general occupational status and purpose of the visit, with one of the options being “business (conferences, meetings, assignments, etc.)”, albeit with no further breakdown. That option may be broken down further into (a) conferences, meetings, trade fairs and exhibitions, etc., (b) as a contractual service supplier and (c) other. The next step would be to modify the questions on general occupational status to identify the type of employer-employee relationship for those whose purpose of visit is business and professional activities, determining if their employer is in Turkey or outside Turkey. The resulting matrix of the questions mentioned above may then prove to be useful, provided that a statistically meaningful expansion can be achieved, which should be assessed with statistical scrutiny.

14.411.        The compilation of the additional item on tourism services-related expenditure in travel and passenger transport should also be encouraged to establish a clearer link between the BOP and tourism statistics. Finally, it is necessary for BOP and tourism statisticians to cooperate and, in particular, to investigate if more detailed services categories would be of interest. Also, some data for TSAs could probably be integrated.

[1] In EBOPS 2010, the distinction regarding “other services” is between education services and health services.  

[2] Turkish Statistical Institute, Tourism Statistics (2011). Available from