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8634.0 - Tourism Indicators, Australia, Jun 2000  
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This article was published in the June Quarter 2000 issue of Tourism Indicators, Australia (ABS Catalogue No. 8634.0).
A summary of the main findings is available on this site.

Introduction

Although tourism has long been regarded as an important activity in Australia, an official measure of the contribution the 'tourism industry' makes to the Australian economy has never been available. While all the products that are produced and consumed in meeting tourism demand are embedded in the core national accounts, they are not readily apparent, since 'tourism' is not identified as a conventional industry or product in international statistical standards. To overcome this problem, a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) identifies the economic aspects of tourism separately, but within the framework of the national accounts.

What is a TSA?

A "tourism" satellite account provides a picture of tourism within the national accounting framework allowing a complete and comprehensive set of economic data on the direct contribution of tourism to be compiled. The concepts and methods used in the calculation of the Australian TSA are based on international standards for TSA's which are published in Tourism Satellite Account: Methodological References. This document was released in March 2000 as a joint publication by an Inter-Secretariat Working Group made up of the United Nations (UN), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Communities).

Background

The first official estimates of the direct contribution of tourism to the Australian economy were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 17 October 2000. The work was conducted over four years and funded jointly by the ABS and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (ISR).

Findings

In 1997-98, the tourism industry accounted for $25.2 billion, or 4.5% of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP).
Domestic tourism generated 79% of tourism GDP. Of this total, domestic households contributed 86%, while domestic business/government tourism contributed 14%. International visitors generated the remaining 21% (which represented 1.0% of GDP).


TOURISM CONSUMPTION - by type of visitor

Households
Business/
government
International
Total

Tourism GDP ($m)
17,025
2,755
5,394
25,174
Contribution to tourism GDP (%)
67.6
10.9
21.4
100.0
Contribution to GDP (%)
3.0
0.5
1.0
4.5

Tourism consumption ($m)
38,770
6,596
12,792
58,158
Contribution to tourism consumption (%)
66.7
11.3
22.0
100.0



Tourism's share of total industry gross value added, the preferred national accounts measure of an industry's contribution, is 4.3%. This compares favourably with the contribution of a number of other industries. It contributes about the same as Government Administration and Defence. It is also higher than a number of industries including agriculture, forestry and fishing (3.4%), communication services (3.2%) and electricity gas and water (2.7%) and is only marginally less than that of mining (4.5%).



INDUSTRY SHARE OF GROSS VALUE ADDED
Gross value added by Industry (%)
Tourism component of
Industry gross value added (%)
Gross value added by Industry including Tourism (%)

Manufacturing
13.0
0.5
13.5
Property and business services
11.1
0.1
11.2
Ownership of Dwellings
9.6
0.3
9.8
Finance and insurance
6.7
-
6.7
Construction
6.0
-
6.0
Health and community services
5.8
0.1
5.9
Wholesale trade
5.4
0.2
5.6
Retail trade
5.1
0.6
5.8
Transport and storage
4.8
1.1
5.8
Mining
4.7
-
4.7
Education
4.7
0.1
4.8
Government administration/defence
4.3
-
4.3
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
3.3
0.1
3.4
Communication services
3.2
0.1
3.2
Electricity, Gas and water
2.7
-
2.7
Personal and other services
2.3
-
2.3
Cultural and recreational services
1.6
0.2
1.9
Accomodation, cafes & restuarants
1.5
0.9
2.4
Tourism
4.3
..
..
Total
100.0
4.3
100.0



Tourism activity is widespread, with nearly all of the broad industry groups involved to a greater or lesser extent in providing goods and services to visitors. The Air and Water Transport industry was the biggest contributor to tourism gross value added (15%), followed by the Accommodation industry (11%), the Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Outlets industry (10%), and the other Retail Trade industry (9%). The importance of these four industries to tourism in 1997-98 is highlighted by their combined tourism gross value added of $9.8 billion, representing 44% of total tourism gross value added.

Tourism is Australia's fourth largest export industry, exporting $12.8 billion worth of goods and services in 1997-98 (which represented 11% of total exports). Only mining (35%), manufacturing (23%) and agriculture (20%) had greater direct export earnings in that year.

Tourism consumption totalled $58.2 billion. Long distance passenger transportation represented the largest proportion of tourism consumption at 18%, with shopping, including gifts and souvenirs at 16%, takeaway and restaurant meals at 15% and accommodation services with 9%.

Tourism contributes significantly to employment, with 513,000 persons in tourism generated employment in 1997-98. This represents 6% of total employed persons. The largest number of persons in tourism generated employment were in retail trade (27%), followed by accommodation (18%), and cafes and restaurants (9%).




Tourism had a larger share of part-time workers (37%) than the economy wide proportion (26%) in 1997-98. In addition, tourism employment in 1997-98 was relatively evenly distributed between males and females, compared to economy wide percentages of 43% female and 57% male employed persons.

There were 4.2 million short-term overseas visitor arrivals in 1997–98, of which 31% came from the north-east Asian region, 22% from Europe and the former USSR and 19% from Oceania and Antarctica. More visitors came from Japan (797,000 arrivals) than any other country.




The 4.2 million short-term international visitors to Australia spent, on average, $3,946 per trip in 1997-98 (of which $3,031 was on Australian supplied goods and services). On the other hand, the 3.0 million Australian residents departing on short term overseas trips spent $4,486 per trip (of which $775 was on Australian supplied goods and services).

Further details can be found in Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98 (Cat. No. 5249.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of the publication is also available on this site.

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