Developing a Data Bank in the Tourism and Culture Industry

Bertram Azuwuike

National Bureau of Statistics



The presentation begins by defining data bank. Then it goes on to highlight the importance of having a databank for the Tourism and Culture Industry. This is followed by a listing of some of the variables for which Tourism and Culture data are collected. It then ended with a brief mention of how to organize data inside the data bank.

What is a Data Bank?

A data bank is repository of information on one or more subjects in a way that facilitates information retrieval. The data in the data bank can be a collection of independent records or one or more databases.

What is the Importance of Data Bank in the Tourism and Culture Industry?

  1. Tourism data will help to show the significance of tourism’s economic contribution, and this gives the industry greater respect from both government officials, and the general public.
  2. It is very necessary for any meaningful planning and budgeting.
  3. Data can be used to make a more convincing and persuasive argument for government to support projects and developments in the Tourism and Culture Industry
  4. It is useful in the monitoring and evaluation of ongoing projects and budgets.
  5. It enables policy maker to measure the impact of past policies and projects, thus helping us to known the extent to which the set objectives were attained.
  6. It also enables policy makers to project the impact of proposed projects and policies, thereby helping us to make better decisions.
  7. With data, it will be possible to make good estimate both the current and future number of employment in the industry. The availability of appropriate data enables us to measure the contribution of Tourism and Culture to the nations GDP.
  8. Data will provide information on benefits of investing in tourism promotion, benefits of investing in visitors facilities, benefits of investing in tourism related infrastructure,  effects of regulatory policies on tourism business, value of partnerships with business in the industry, returns on investments in tourism development, and benefits of international efforts and cooperation to grow tourism.

Some of the Data Required in the Tourism and Culture Industry

The data used in the Tourism and Culture industry can be categorized into the following:

  • Subjective data that rely on expert opinion;
  • Secondary data; and
  • Primary data.

B Data required

Some of the data commonly required for research, planning, monitoring and evaluation and model building, and analyses of activities in the industry are the following:

  1. Number of hotels
  2. Number of rooms available in hotels
  3. Number of rooms occupied in ordinary days/special and festival days
  4. Trip length in nights stayed
  5. Visitor’s expenditure in hotels, on transportation, on food & drinks, etc.
  6. Party size of visitors
  7. Festivals, their dates, length in days
  8. Number of festivals
  9. No of visitors to festival, expenditure of visitors, etc.
  10. Number of employees
  11. Wages paid to industry employees
  12. Revenue received by operators in the industry
  13. Revenue received from products and services
  14. Purchases by operators in the industry
  15. Taxes paid by operators in the industry
  16. Number of foreign visitors and the length of stay
  17. Number of domestic visitors and on the length of stay
  18. Number of historic properties, and their locations
  19. Cost of maintain and/or preserving historic properties
  20. Number of visitors to historic properties
  21. Revenues received from visitors to historic properties
  22. Number of employees in respect of historic properties and their salaries and wages, etc.

Organization of the Contents of the Data Bank

Before the database is designed, there is usually a study of the current position to establish what is available. After this a statement of the requirement is produced which states what the database should contain and how it is to be organised. The content of this statement of requirement is what is implemented.

  1. The way the data in the data bank is organised is very important. The effectiveness of the organization of data in the data bank is measured by the easiness by which data is retrieve and manipulated. So all sound data banks must ensure fast and easy data retrieval and processing.
  2. The best way to do so in this our computer age is to organize the data in a database form. The database is created, run and maintained with the use of a database management system (DBMS).
  3. There are many types of database management systems out in the market now, with varying levels of sophistications and capabilities. The most commonly used, are Oracles by Sun Systems Inc. and SQL Server by Microsoft Inc.
  4. The choice of the DBMS depends on my issues among which is the type of computer configurations available to an organization, the nature of the data to be archived and the level and type of computer expertise available.


We are in what some people now call the information age. Gone are the days when decisions are based on intuitions, hunches, and experiences only.  Decisions these days must be evidence based. The main way of providing evidence is through data and statistics. The data must be archived in a way that ensures easy retrieval and manipulation. Hence, the need for a data bank and database to facilitate decision making in the Tourism and Culture industry. Therefore if this little piece is able to contribute in helping to ginger the establishment of a sound databank and database in the Tourism and Culture industry, it would be considered useful.

*** Being a Paper Presented at the National Summit on Culture and Tourism with the theme, “Repositioning Culture and Tourism in a Diversified Economy”, organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, on 27-29 April, 2016.