Mobile Big Data provides the best opportunity for measuring the mobility of tourists. Anonymised data from mobile phones allows the generation of statistics for inbound, domestic, and outbound tourism flows, describing the places that tourists visit, the duration of their stay, and the distribution between overnight stays and same-day visits. It was looked into tourism data in Tartu, Estonia for 2016 for the Tartu City government.

Here's what passive mobile positioning data showed: Foreigners visited Tartu half a million times in 2016! Not surprisingly, most of them came from Finland (55%), followed by Latvia (11%) and Russia (8%). Event of the year, you ask? The European Rally Championship event Rally Estonia, of course! Tourist numbers peaked during this event and during Christmas. So if you love high speeds and magical Christmas lights, Tartu is the place to be! The city is a popular destination for local tourism, too. Estonians visited Tartu 1.89 million times in 2016! Like foreign tourists, Estonians love adrenaline and traditions. Tartu had something for everyone - from the Farm Fair to Rally Estonia to Christmas season - mobile data showed tourism peaks during major events such as these.

Mobile Big Data can provide great insights on event visitation and assessing the tourism effect of an event to regional economy. This provides statistical arguments for public or private sponsorships and the financial support of the event.

The main users of tourism statistics from Mobile Big Data are national and regional tourism boards, national statistics offices, central banks, municipalities, and event organisers.