8691.0 - Tourism Marketing Expenditure, Australia, 2003-04  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2005   
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1 This publication presents results from a survey on expenditure by private sector businesses on the marketing of Australian tourism, both domestically and internationally, for the reference year 2003-04.


2 The scope of the Tourism Marketing Expenditure Survey was predominantly private sector businesses that were mainly engaged in the following selected tourism related activities:

  • accommodation
  • car hire
  • casino operation
  • coach operation
  • convention/exhibition centre operation
  • cruise operation
  • domestic air passenger transport
  • duty free retailing
  • inbound tour operation
  • rail passenger transport
  • theme park/major attraction operation
  • tour operation.

3 A small number of public sector organisations was also included in the survey. Travel agents were excluded.


4 The survey results only relate to a partial coverage of the selected tourism related activities. Partial coverage was adopted to minimise collection costs and reduce provider load on businesses. Smaller businesses were excluded entirely from the survey. The scope of the survey was restricted as follows:

  • Domestic passenger airlines, car hire and casinos included only the larger private sector businesses with significant turnover, i.e. greater than $30m.
  • The accommodation sector included only those businesses generating more than $1.2m in turnover.
  • Only major duty free retail outlets and convention/exhibition centres were included.
  • Only inbound tour operators with employment of 10 persons or more were included.
  • For other tourism related activities, only businesses with an employment size of 20 or more persons were included.

5 The ABS Business Register (refer to paragraph 8 for a description) provided the population of private sector businesses mainly engaged in domestic air passenger transport, car hire, casino and accommodation tourism activities.

6 Listings supplied by the Australian Tourism Export Council and the Association of Australian Convention Bureau Inc. were used to identify selected businesses in tourism activities not readily identifiable on the ABS Business Register.


7 The statistical units used to represent businesses in selected tourism related activities and for which statistics are reported, were:

  • the Australian Business Number (ABN) or Type of Activity Unit (TAU) for businesses selected from the ABS Business Register
  • the tourism business/organisation selected from the listings mentioned in paragraph 6.


8 The ABS uses an economic statistics model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogenous components that can provide data to the ABS.

9 The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the Australian Taxation Office administered Australian Business Register. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the TAU. A TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision and the TAU is classified to the predominant ANZSIC subdivision.

10 Further details about the ABS economic statistical units used in this survey, and in other ABS economic surveys (both sample surveys and censuses), can be found in Chapter 2 of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2002 (cat. no. 1218.0).


11 This is the fourth time the ABS has conducted a survey of this nature. Previous surveys were undertaken in respect of the 1996-97, 1994-95 and 1992-93 reference periods, however, they only related to overseas expenditure on the marketing of Australian tourism products.

12 Comparisons with results from the previous surveys are not provided in this publication due to significant changes to the scope and coverage of the 2003-04 survey. The sources used to capture the population of interest were significantly different from those used in previous surveys. The scope of this survey was also expanded to capture spending on the marketing of Australian tourism domestically. Therefore caution should be exercised when making comparisons with previous data.


13 When interpreting the results of a survey it is important to take into account that the survey did not cover all businesses in the tourism related areas. Furthermore there is a number of other factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. Such factors can be classified as either sampling or non-sampling error.

14 The estimates for the selected tourism activities in this publication are subject to sampling error. Although a census of the in-scope businesses was conducted for all tourism activities, except accommodation, the data are subject to sampling error due to non-response. The accommodation industry estimates are based on information obtained from a randomly selected stratified sample of a subpopulation of accommodation businesses. Consequently, the estimates for this sector are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units within the subpopulation had been included in the survey. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error, which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

15 Errors subject to non-sampling may occur in any type of collection. For this survey, non-sampling error may result from such things as deficiencies in the ABS Business Register or external listings from which the census/sample was drawn, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the survey is not precisely quantifiable. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the questionnaire, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology.


16 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


17 Data contained in this publication related to the 2003-04 reference period. Financial estimates included the activity of any businesses that ceased or commenced operations during the year. Counts of businesses included only those that were operating at 30 June 2004.


18 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


19 Inquiries about these statistics should be made by telephoning the contact shown on the front page.