6. This topic elaborates on the 'Typical Measures' for the CONSUMER element of the event and provides definitions and classifications where relevant.
Number of visitors
7. This is the basic unit of measurement of the various types of visitors to a destination region or country.
Purpose of visit
8. Data on purpose of visit are essential to identify the various types of visitors. Each type has its own behavioural, product consumption and expenditure patterns.
9. It is common for a visitor to have more than one 'purpose of visit'. For example, a person travelling primarily for business reasons may extend the visit for holiday purposes. It may be useful for some collections to ask for 'Main purpose of visit' and 'Secondary purpose of visit'. However, before doing so it would be useful to consider how and if data on secondary purpose would actually be used.
10. The UN/WTO standards define 'main purpose of visit' as: "The purpose in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place."
11. This definition is easily applied for the majority of visitors. However, for some visitors it does need some consideration. Typical cases are:
- dependants or other persons accompanying travellers, such as children, spouses or servants: these should be allocated the same 'purpose of visit' as the accompanied traveller, on the basis that they would not be visiting if the accompanied person had not been visiting. For example, a person accompanying his/her spouse on a business trip should be categorised as 'Business', even though s/he may primarily be travelling for pleasure purposes. This principle is adopted on the basis that the 'pleasure' trip would not have taken place if the 'business' trip had not occurred.
12. The following is the standard UN/WTO classification of purpose of visit.
- a person who travels to a place for business purposes but who stays on, possibly for a longer period, for pleasure purposes. While most of this visitor's activities and expenditure might relate to his/her pleasure stay, the 'main purpose of visit' is identified as 'business' on the basis that the pleasure part of the trip would not have occurred had it not been for the business purpose.
13. It is desirable that the classification used in Australia be compatible with this international standard. It is recommended that the following classification be used.
14. As discussed in Chapter 2, persons travelling for employment purposes are not included in the definition of visitors. However, in Australia significant numbers of people travel for temporary employment purposes, and spend a significant part of their trip on leisure purposes. It is recognised that statistics on such travellers are required, even though they are not officially defined as 'visitors' and 'employment' is not included as a purpose of visit. Because of this, it is recommended that statistical collections should collect data on such travellers, but identify them under a separate category, '6. Employment/leisure'. However, where the trip is clearly predominantly for leisure purposes, and working is a minor part of the trip, the purpose of visit should be recorded as '1. Leisure, recreation and holidays'.
15. The Purpose of visit classification recognises a distinction between 'training' and 'education'. Category '3.3 Training and research' is included as a sub-set of '3. Business and professional' as it comprises persons who are in the workforce in their place of residence and who are undertaking some form of training or research relating to their job. Category '4. Education' comprises persons who are not in the workforce in their place of residence and who are undertaking longer term education, eg. students.
UN/WTO CLASSIFICATION: PURPOSE OF VISIT
Leisure, recreation and holidays
Includes sight-seeing, shopping, attending sporting and cultural events, recreation and cultural activities, non-professional active sports, trekking and mountaineering, use of beaches, cruises, gambling, rest and recreation for armed forces, summer camp, honeymooning, etc.;
Visiting friends and relatives
Includes visits to relatives or friends, home leave, attending funerals, care of invalids;
Business and professional
Includes installing equipment, inspection, purchases, sales for foreign enterprises; attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions; employer incentive tours; giving lectures or concerts; programming tourist travel, contracting of accommodation and transport, working as guides and other tourism professionals; participation in professional sports activities; government missions, including diplomatic, military or international organisation personnel, except when stationed on duty in the country visited; paid study, education and research, such as university sabbatical leaves, language, professional or other special courses in connection with and supported by visitor's business or profession;
Includes spas, fitness, thalassotherapy, health resorts and other treatments and cures;
Includes attending religious events, pilgrimages;
Includes aircraft and ship crews on public carriers, transit and others or unknown.
Date of arrival
16. The month of arrival of a visitor at a destination should be recorded to provide seasonal data on visitor movements. In some surveys, however, such as household surveys of domestic visitors, for practical collection reasons, it may be more appropriate to classify visitors according to the month they returned to their place of usual residence.
Duration of visit (stay or trip)
17. For classifying tourism trips in general and, even more so, leisure and holiday trips in particular, the duration of the visit is an important statistical variable.
22. For classifying duration of stay or trip for Same-day visitors the following intervals of number of hours are recommended:
Place of residence
18. Duration of visit can be expressed in terms of duration of stay or duration of trip.
19. The duration of stay is the measurement used from the standpoint of the destination country or place (ie. how many nights spent in the country or place), whereas the duration of trip is, logically, the measure used by the origin country or place (ie. how many nights spent away from the country or place).
20. The duration of visit (stay or trip) is measured in units of the number of hours for Same-day visitors, and the number of nights for Overnight visitors. For international tourism, the duration is measured either in terms of time spent in Australia for Inbound tourism, or time away from Australia for Outbound tourism.
21. For classifying duration of stay or trip for Overnight visitors the following intervals of number of nights are recommended:
23. The place or country of usual residence is important as it is one of the key criteria for determining whether a traveller is a visitor or not. In the case of international travellers, country of residence is one of the criteria for identifying visitors from other types of travellers (ie. residents of Australia). For many research and policy purposes it is important to identify the source regions for domestic visitors and the source countries for international visitors to a destination area.
Place of residence for international visitors
24. The country of residence of an international visitor is defined as the country in which the visitor:
- has lived for most of the past year (12 months); or
25. There are a number of available classifications of countries and territories developed for specific purposes. One such system is the Standard Australian Classification of Countries 1998 (Cat. no. 1269.0). This system has been developed by the ABS following consultation with interested potential users, including tourism organisations, and is recommended for adoption by tourism statistics collectors and users. This system is used as a standard classification for ABS collections, such as the Population Census and labour force statistics. It is also being adopted by the Department of Immigration and other government departments.
26. The classification is a three level hierarchical system, in which the levels are represented by a 1-digit, 2-digit and 4-digit code, respectively. The following summary list shows the 1-digit level of detail. For the full list of countries see Standard Australian Classification of Countries 1998 (Cat. no. 1269.0).
- has lived in for a shorter period and intends to return to within 12 months to live.
1. Oceania and Antarctica
2. Europe and the former USSR
3. The Middle East and North Africa
4. Southeast Asia
5. Northeast Asia
6. Southern Asia
7. Northern America
8. South America, Central America and the Caribbean
9. Africa (excluding North Africa)
Place of residence for domestic visitors
27. The ABS has developed the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) for use in the collection and publication of its own statistics, and encourages other organisations to use this classification in their own statistical work. It is recommended that this be adopted as the classification for identifying place of residence of domestic visitors. This will allow comparisons between tourism statistical collections and other ABS collections which may or may not be directly related to tourism, eg. the Population Census and labour force surveys. The ASGC incorporates a number of types of geographical areas, or 'spatial units'. For tourism statistics, the adoption of a hierarchical system comprising, in ascending order, Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Statistical Sub-divisions (SSDs), Statistical Divisions (SDs), and States and Territories (S/Ts), is recommended.
28. The numbers of each 'spatial unit' in each State/Territory are:
29. It is not expected that, in many cases, statistics on place of residence would be required at the SLA level, and in most cases it is likely that the greatest level of detail required and allowed by the collection would be no lower than SSD level. However, some studies may require statistics on persons residing in a geographic region which can be defined in terms of groups of SLAs.
30. The recommended ASGC classification listed below provides detail down to the Statistical Division level. For detail down to Statistical Local Area level refer to the ABS publication Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), (Cat. no. 1216.0).
31. For International visitors, it may be of interest to have data on country of citizenship in addition to country of residence. Citizenship data are often of value for market research purposes in identifying particular communities within a country which may be a potential, or actual, target market.
32. The nationality of a visitor is that of the government issuing his/her passport (or other identification document), even if s/he normally resides in another country.
33. It is recommended that the Standard Australian Classification of Countries, 1998 (Cat. no. 1269.0) be used to classify nationality.
34. It is important that a classification system of destination regions is available for tourism statistics collections. Much of the tourism data are only of importance, or of particular interest at the small area level. The Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC), as outlined in the topic 'Place of residence' in Chapter 3, should be used to define the boundaries of destination regions. Regions can be defined in terms of groups of Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). This enables comparison or linkage of tourism data with other collections, such as the population census, labour force statistics, etc.
35. The Bureau of Tourism Research publishes data for Tourism Regions. As it is important to be able to compare tourism regional statistics with other regional statistics, it is necessary to have a comparison between the BTR's standard tourism regions and the ASGC, which provides the standard regions for other official statistics. A concordance between the BTR's tourism regions and the ASGC has been developed, and is included in Appendix 2. The BTR's tourism regions are as follows.
36. Each tourism trip can have only one main destination, even though several destinations may be visited. The main destination is defined as: "the place or country where more time was spent than in any other during the trip". In the case of overnight visits, the main destination should be considered the place in which most nights were spent. If the number of nights spent in two or more places is the same, the main destination should be considered to be the place furthest from the visitor's place of residence.
37. This should be recorded in all collections as an essential variable to identify types of visitors.
38. Age data on visitors should be classified according to the age (in years) of visitors as at their last birthday. Months should be ignored. A visitor who is 14 years and 10 months of age should be classified as age 14. This is consistent with other data series, such as the Population Census, and also with the system of price discounting for age groups used by many organisations, such as airlines.
39. The following suggested classification of ages is designed to broadly reflect five major market segments, that is
- Children, mainly travelling with their parents;
- Youngsters, constituting the important market of youth travel;
- Relatively young, economically active people;
For the first category, a further breakdown is suggested for greater detail.
- Middle-aged, economically active people; and
40. Data on marital status should be collected for visitors 15 years and over. It is recommended that the following classification be adopted:
41. 'Married' should include de facto relationships, and any marriages resulting from traditional, customary tribal or modern ceremonies, whether legally registered or not. Where a visitor is separated (or widowed) but is now in a de facto relationship he/she should be classified as 'Married'.
Level of education
42. The level of education should be identified as the highest level completed. The following classification is recommended:
43. 'Primary education not completed' includes children who may or may not currently be attending primary school but who have not completed all grades.
44. 'Completed primary education' includes children who have completed primary school and who are currently either not attending school or are now attending secondary school.
45. 'Completed secondary education' includes children who have completed secondary school and who are currently either not attending school or are now attending a post-secondary institution.
46. 'Completed post-secondary vocational or technical training' should only include qualifications which require at least one year full time study (or part time equivalent). Completion of short-term courses should not be included.
Economic activity status
47. The economic activity status of a visitor relates to his/her normal daily economic activity, or lack of such activity. The classification below is based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.
48. 'Employed' comprises persons who, immediately prior to the trip, were working for payment, profit, commission or payment in kind or as a contributing family worker (ie. in a family business or subsistence work). It should include employers as well as employees. (Note: Temporary absence from work immediately prior to the trip should be ignored.) It should include persons who are working part-time.
49. 'Unemployed' comprises persons who, immediately prior to the trip, did not have a job but were actively looking for full-time or part-time work and were available to start work.
50. 'Not in labour force - Others' includes persons in institutions or otherwise unable to work.
51. The Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), Second Edition (1997), provides a classification which can be used to categorise visitors, and which allows for comparison with other statistical collections.
52. The structure of ASCO is based on kind of work done, defined in terms of two broad criteria, that is: skill level and skill specialisation. ASCO Second Edition has five levels of detail, each identified by the number of digits in the code number.
53. The following list shows the classification down to the 2 digit (Sub-major group) level. For classification down to the 6 digit (Occupation) level, or for definitions of Occupations, refer to the ASCO publication (Cat. no. 1220.0).
No. of groups in each level
No. of digits in code numbers
54. For data on income of visitors, it is recommended that the following classification, which is based on the standard income ranges used in the 1996 Population Census, be adopted.
55. For small sample surveys, groupings of these categories should be used.
56. Income recorded should be gross income, ie. before tax and other deductions, for the 12 months prior to undertaking the trip. It should include, as much as possible, wages, salaries, overtime, dividends, interest, family allowance, pensions, rents received, business or farm income (less operating expenses), and superannuation and workers' compensation received.
57. Income data for international visitors should be collected in the currency of their country of residence and converted to $A using the exchange rate in effect at the time of the survey.
CLASSIFICATION OF INCOME LEVELS
Weekly Income ($A)
Annual equivalent ($A)
Nil (or negative)
Nil (or negative)
1 - 4,200
80 - 159
4,200 - 8,300
160 - 299
8,300 - 15,600
300 - 499
15,600 - 26,000
500 - 699
26,000 - 36,400
700 - 999
36,400 - 52,000
1,000 - 1,499
52,000 - 78,000
Number of persons in party
58. A visitor might travel as part of a 'party' and/or a 'group'. A 'party' comprises a number of visitors travelling together and whose expenditure is from a common pool. A typical example is a family on holiday together. A 'group' comprises a number of visitors travelling together but who are each responsible for their own expenditure. A typical example would be people travelling on the same bus tour. A 'group' could comprise a number of 'parties' and individual travellers.
59. The size and make-up of the party in which a visitor is travelling can have a significant effect on his/her trip activity and expenditure. Persons travelling singly have different patterns of activity and expenditure from those travelling in a party.
60. For some studies, it may be required to allocate a proportion of the total party expenditure to individuals in the party. As a broad recommendation, total expenditure might be broken down on the basis of expenditure by infants less than 1 year old as nil; expenditure by children 1 to 5 years old as 10% of that of an adult; and expenditure by youths 6 to 14 years old being 75% of that of an adult.
61. For research purposes it might be useful to know how many people are travelling in parties. This could be even more useful if cross-tabulated, for example, with the age distribution of the party members, such as: