Ferðavenjur Íslendinga - 01.02.1998, Blaðsíða 29

Ferðavenjur Íslendinga - 01.02.1998, Blaðsíða 29
Ferðavenjur íslendinga 1996 27 tourist industry, on models from neighbouring countries where similar surveys had already been conducted, on the SI statistics on tourist accommodation, and on other sources. Data collection The survey was conducted by telephone. Every sampled participant received a letter in advance explaining the back- ground and aim of the survey with a request for his or her cooperation. These people were subsequently contacted by telephone, chiefly in the evening and during weekends. Telephone numbers were obtained from the Post and Tel- ecommunication Administration. The survey was conducted with the help of the interviewing program BLAISE, which greatly facilitates the whole process of making a survey, both in terms of execution and processing of the data. Survey period The survey covered the year 1996 and was conducted in three stages. The first stage extended to trips taken in the period January-May and took place at the end June. The second stage covered trips taken in the months April-August and this part was performed in September. Finally, the third stage took place in January 1997, covering trips taken in July- December. It was deemed advisable not to cover longer periods in each stage so that the respondents would easily be able to recall their trips. The periods were deliberately made to overlap in order to make it possible to produce figures for both three-month and four-month periods. Eurostat requests quarterly statistics whereas this publication shows figures for four-month periods. For Iceland it is more practical to em- ploy four-month periods so as not to split up the major tourist seasons, such as Easter (in March and April) and summer (in June and July). Sample and response rates The sampling frame in each stage of the survey included all Icelandic and foreign citizens aged 16-74 who were on the National Register of Persons and had their domicile in Iceland during the survey period. Each sample was made up of 1.200 persons picked by random sampling from the National Register. For the purpose of including children under the age of 16, mothers were asked about the tourism patterns of their children, or alternatively, single fathers were asked those questions. The mothers were preferred as respondents to these questions since they were considered more likely than the fathers to know in some detail about their children’s travels. In the first stage of the survey the final sample, including grown-ups and children, tumed out to be 1,600 individuals, in the second stage this number was 1,681 and 1,643 in the third one. The combined sample size in all three stages was 4,812 individuals and the response rate was 87%. A more detailed account of the response rates is found in Summary 20. Reliability Errors in a sample survey fall roughly into two major catego- ries, sampling errors and non-sampling errors. The follow- ing section deals mainly with those types of errors that are of significance to the processing of data in this particular survey. Sampling errors Surveys based on samples have an inherent degree of uncer- tainty since the sampled individuals have been drawn at random from a particular sampling frame such as the Na- tional Register of Persons. The uncertainty stems from the fact that the sample may not be an exact reflection of the population in question. The random nature of this uncer- tainty makes it necessary to calculate confidence limits for the estimates. Summary 21 shows 95% confidence limits for the number of individuals in the Statistics Iceland tourism survey. If, for instance, the number of tourists in the period May-August aged 45-64 years is estimated at 42,500, the confidence limit for the number which comes closest to this estimation is +/- 4,600. This means that there is a 95% probability that between 32.900 and 42.100 Icelanders aged 45-64 took some trip in the period May-August. If the size of the estimate as less tlian 4,000, the relative standard error will exceed 20%. Estimates, percentages and averages for groups smaller than 4,000 are marked with an asterisk (*). Summary 22 shows 95% confidence limits for the number of trips and confidence limits for each category are calculated in the same manner as described above. Non-sampling errors. There are three different categories of non-sampling errors: Coverage errors, non-response er- rors and other errors. Coverage errors. Coverage errors are caused by two things. On one hand, the register used for the sampling, i.e. the sampling frame, may not be exhaustive and, on the other hand, it may include individuals or units that do not belong to the population being investigated. These types of errors are referred to as undercoverage and overcoverage errors respectively. As described above the sample for the tourism survey was drawn from individuals aged 16-74, domiciled in Iceland according to the national register. The national register, however, includes a considerable number of people studying or working abroad for longer than six months at a time. Only a portion of this group is registered as residing abroad in the national register. This will result in a considerable bias so that totals are overestimated unless this group is subtracted from the total population. For this reason, all totals for number of trips and number of tourists are based on the mean population in 1996 as calculated by Statistics Iceland and corrected by subtracting the number of persons presumed to be residing abroad and domiciled in Iceland according to indications supplied by the tourism survey. Summary 23 shows a summary of the mean population in 1996 by age and residence as estimated by using the above methods. Undercoverage in the national register, however, has not been detected to any degree. Non-response errors. In all surveys there is a risk that results become biased because non-response is not evenly distributed among the groups examined. The most common reasons for non-response are refusals, difficulties due to illness or disability, absence from home during the time of survey or non-contact because addresses or telephone num- bers of sampled individuals could not be found. In general,
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