- Governor Coomraswamy says SLTDA’s survey methodology “pretty robust”
- Ceylon Chamber in October highlighted shortcomings of SLTDA’s survey samples
By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
The Central Bank last week expressed its confidence in the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority’s statistical rigour with regard to tourism data published in national accounts and SLTDA publications, despite recent criticism.
“They explained their methodology to us, and it seemed pretty robust,” Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said during a media briefing.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in a report released last October, had highlighted shortcomings in SLTDA’s tourism survey data collection, since the survey sample differs from the actual tourism arrival demographics, leading to a sampling error.
Over 80 percent of tourism sector stakeholders—accounting for a large portion of the country’s formal tourism sector interviewed by the CCC, had expressed their lack of confidence in the accuracy of the SLTDA’s tourism data.
However, the SLTDA in defence has said that comprehensive processes are applied to the data collected in the departure surveys, in order to ensure that the data published in SLTDA reports and national accounts are as accurate as possible.
Dr. Coomaraswamy said that although more surveys are always preferable, SLTDA’s statistics are as reliable as it could be under the current framework.
The SLTDA will move onto a Tourism Satellite Account framework before the end of this year to gain more reliable tourism earnings statistics, particularly with regard to the informal sector, SLTDA officials have said.