Helping Indonesia Measure Tourism and Achieve SDGs

Indonesia tapped into a unique big data source – mobile positioning data (MPD) to measure tourism and achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Read about it in this case study.

Results of the project

  • Increased accuracy and timeliness of tourism statistics
  • Mobile positioning data recognised as part of official visitor arrival statistics
  • Thanks to better measurement, proportion of tourists from neighbouring countries increased from 7% to 30%

Difficulty to Measure Inbound Tourism at All Entry Points to the Country

The goal for Indonesia is to increase its annual influx of tourists from 14 million to 20 million a year. To do that, the tourism sector needs accurate and timely data. However, in a country with 17,000+ islands and vast land borders, it is difficult to measure inbound tourism at all entry points to the country.

This is why Indonesian official statistics did not include all tourists who were coming from Indonesia’s directly neighbouring countries. That is until recently when Indonesia tapped into a unique big data source – mobile positioning data (MPD).

Learn more about MPD in our article: 'Mobile Positioning Data FAQ: MPD Basics'

Using MPD to Measure Cross-Border Tourism

Today, almost everyone on the move has a mobile phone. Roaming mobile MPD-based statistics can be used to measure cross-border tourism, so that the decision-makers would have the most up-to-date and reliable statistics.

With the help of Positium, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy developed a system to count tourists in these excluded border areas and thus support United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 (sustainable growth and job creation) – through accurate data.

Indonesia quickly found that, in line with international benchmarks, the share of tourists from neighbouring countries was 30% of all tourists instead of the previous 7% measured with traditional methods.

For example, MPD showed that, between Indonesia and Timor Leste alone, close to 100,000 visitors cross the border every month for shopping, visiting relatives and fellow tribes-men. Consequently, Timor Leste established its place among the top 5 contributors to visitor arrivals in Indonesia after MPD measurement was put in place. This knowledge has been relevant in directing new investments to infrastructure, tourism development and cross-border events in the country’s border areas.

Would you be interested in learning more about mobile big data and Positium? Let's talk about what mobile big data can do to help your organisation make decisions based on population mobility.

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