11.2.2 Representing Data in Tables
Some tables contain very large numbers or very small numbers and to make these easier to read the way they are presented may be changed.
For example, suppose the number of tourists (rounded to the nearest thousand) visiting south-west Ireland in four quarterly periods were 556,000, 320,000, 284,000, and 355,000. These numbers can be expressed as , , and so on. Using units of 1000, the numbers in the table can be written simply as 365, 320, 284, and 355, and the column heading changed to “Numbers (000s)” or “Numbers (thousands).” The values then become much easier to read.
The table below is also taken from the Tourism Fact Card and it indicates the number of visitors to the different regions of Ireland in 2003 and the revenue generated.
Where Did the Tourists Go and How Much Did They Spend?
|Overseas Tourists||Northern Ireland||Domestic||Total|
Activity: Where Did the Tourists Go?
Use the table above to answer the following questions. Remember, “Euro m” (or “€m”) is an abbreviation for “million euros;” euros are the currency used in Ireland and throughout much of Europe.
(a) Look carefully at the table. What information does it give?
(a) The table shows where tourists went in Ireland during 2003 and how much they spent. Seven regions of Ireland are included, and the tourists are divided into those from overseas, those from Northern Ireland and domestic tourists. Each cell in the table contains two numbers. The top number is the number of tourists in thousands, and the second number, in italics, shows how much they spent in millions of euros (€m).
(b) How reliable do you think the data in the table are? Do you know how the data were collected?
(b) No source is given on the table which might make you question the reliability. However, there was reference in the original document to the Central Statistical Office for Ireland, so it is probably information from an official source. You might have questioned, though, how are tourists counted? Are they people who stayed at hotels or guesthouses, perhaps, or those who visited tourist attractions, or perhaps tourists were counted at the borders as they entered Ireland? Estimating how much money tourists spend would not be straightforward either.
(c) How many domestic tourists visited Shannon in 2003?
Remember to take note of the units used for numbers of visitors.
(c) Take care with the figures when you read them from the table. The number of people is given in thousands, so the number of domestic tourists who visited Shannon in 2003 was 818,000.
(d) Roughly how much did all the tourists spend in Dublin in 2003?
(d) Tourists visiting Dublin spent 1220.2 million euros, or a little over 1.22 billion euros.
1220.2 million = 1,220,200,000
1 billion = 1,000,000,000
So 1220.2 million = 1.22 billion (to 2 d.p.)
(e) In which regions were there more domestic tourists than overseas tourists?
(e) Comparing the columns for the overseas tourists and the domestic tourists shows that there were more domestic tourists than overseas tourists in the midlands/east, south-east, west, and north-west regions.
(f) Why do you think the data was collected?
(f) It is possible that the data was collected to help plan tourist initiatives, such as targeted marketing.