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TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

November 02, 2012

Seeking Improvements to the Survey of International Air Travelers

The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) is exploring several ways to improve and expand the Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT). Communications with the Travel & Tourism Advisory Board this summer focused on current methodologies and funding as well as potential research alternatives. Two are described here:

In August of this year, the OTTI launched a pilot test of the SIAT using an Internet survey for passengers on selected Lufthansa flights leaving the U.S. The initial test was small with 13 selected flights. Initial results from the pilot study can be found at: e-SIAT pilot study (scroll halfway down page). In the near future the test study may be expanded to include incentives for survey participation, as well as more carriers, more flights, and more airports as Wi-Fi Internet coverage is increased.

OTTI has ongoing discussions with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enable an Internet-hosted SIAT questionnaire for overseas travelers to the United States from visa waiver countries. Travelers from visa waiver countries are required to fill out an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application every two years or when their passport expires, whichever comes first.

If you would like to learn more, or if you think you have a potential solution to improve the process to collect data on international travel, assist the government in reducing its costs and/or offer innovative solutions on funding, please contact Ron Erdmann or Richard Champley at otti@trade.gov.

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: otti@trade.gov