Thread: And the Statistics Bullshit award goes to....

1. And the Statistics Bullshit award goes to....

There I was in my special reading room, (very appropriate place in this case) with a copy of finweek that I had purchased a while back. Now catching up with stuff, I read this article and then re-read it and tried to follow the numbers which just did not add up. If you ever wondered why one cannot believe or understand statistics, especially when it comes to tourists and how many people come and go in this country - have a read here.

THERE'S A COMMON misconception that the tourism industry is mainly associated with overseas travellers. However, African land arrivals make up almost 75% of foreign arrivals in South Africa. According to April 2009 data collected by the Department of Home Affairs' immigration officers at SA's ports of entry a total of 2 433 205 travellers (arrivals and departures) passed through them and of the 1 604 011 overseas visitors 465 411 were from African countries, with 452 855 from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), amounting to 665 318 SADC visitors year to date (see graphs).

A comparison between the movements in March 2009 and April 2009 as well as movements in April 2008 and April this year indicates there was an increase in tourist visits from countries worldwide. In addition, the total foreign direct spend by visitors to SA from African markets was more than R43bn last year, up from just over R35bn in 2007. The average spend per trip by visitors from those markets was R10 800 last year.
finweek here

Now I can add that the graphs indicated, that are on the page related to May 2009 numbers and look nothing like any of these numbers here so were absolutly useless. I can also tell you that the graphs relate that there were 100,000 tourists from Zimbabwe in May 2009. Say what....Tourists from Zimbabwe???

For those who did not have a problem here....tell me this then:-
• How do I interpret a arrivals and departures number - do I divide it by two assuming that those that came in went home again?
• If I do that 2,4 million travelers equals 1,2 coming in @ 75% african = 900k - right but the total is only 665k so thats only 55%...but I thought you said 75%....mmmm?
• Is the 442k sadc number included in the 465k from african countries or not?
• R10.8k per visitor avg spend from 'those markets' = R10.8k X 665K people = R7,1 billion - how does this equate to 43 billion.
• Why is the number from 2007 quoted without any reference to other numbers?
• Why is van schalkwyk only getting to the border (that he believes is one of the biggest) now after having launched a campaign in 2005?

And there are probably many more questions.........but the biggest question has to be.....How did this article pass the Finweek editors desk?

2. Originally Posted by Marq
but the biggest question has to be.....How did this article pass the Finweek editors desk?
No-one wants to admit that they don't understand the numbers?