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5249.0 - Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/04/2013   
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Diagram: Key results

Tourism is not an industry or product in international statistical standards but it is commonly considered an industry by tourism researchers and economic analysts. In the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), the direct contribution of the tourism industry to the Australian economy has been measured using the demand generated by visitors and the supply of tourism products by domestic producers.

Graph Image for Selected tourism aggregates

Internal tourism consumption is the total value of goods and services consumed by both resident and non-resident visitors within Australia. It is measured in purchasers' prices (the price paid by the tourism consumer). In 2011-12 internal tourism consumption increased by 6.8% from $99,798m to $106,552m. The receipts of Australian producers of tourism goods and services exclude product taxes like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and include subsidies (collectively known as net taxes). In 2011-12 net taxes on tourism products (includes net taxes on indirect tourism output) increased by 9.8% to $8,419m.

Imported goods and services consumed by visitors are not part of domestic production by Australian industries. The cost to retailers of imported goods sold directly to visitors increased by 13.1% from $6,389m to $7,226m in 2011-12. Over the same period, internal tourism consumption at basic prices (internal tourism consumption at purchaser prices less imports and net taxes on tourism products) increased by 6.0% to $90,907m.

In the case of retail goods purchased by visitors, only the retail margin contributes to direct tourism output, value added and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is because it is deemed that only the retailer has a direct relationship with the visitor and is therefore part of the tourism industry. As a consequence the output, and consequently value added, attributed to other (than retail) industries is excluded from the value of direct tourism output. Direct tourism output is therefore equal to internal tourism consumption at basic prices less the cost to retailers of domestic goods sold directly to visitors. In 2011-12, direct tourism output has increased by 5.7% to $74,588m.

When producing tourism goods and services Australian businesses use goods and services produced and supplied by other businesses. These are known as intermediate inputs and in 2011-12 increased by 6.0% from $34,859m to $36,967m.


Industry gross value added measures the value of production exclusive of product taxes such as the GST. It is the preferred national accounts measure of the production of industries because it is free from distortions in prices caused by changes in tax rates or the introduction of new taxes.

Direct tourism gross value added is calculated by subtracting tourism intermediate inputs from direct tourism output at basic prices. In 2011-12 direct tourism gross value added increased by 5.3% to $37,621m. This was marginally higher than total industry gross value added which increased by 5.1% to $1,377,036m. Therefore, tourism share of gross value added remained stable at 2.7% in 2011-12. The graph below compares growth in direct tourism gross value added with total industry gross value added over recent years. When comparing tourism to other industries and the total economy, it must be understood that tourism is not a distinct industry, rather it comprises a portion of the economic activity classified to ANZSIC industries in the core national accounts.

Graph Image for Growth in industry, gross value added, current prices


Direct tourism GDP is calculated by adding tourism net taxes on products to direct tourism gross value added. In the case of goods, tourism net taxes on products will only include the net taxes attributable to retail trade activities, consistent with the derivation of other tourism supply measures. In 2011-12 direct tourism GDP increased by 5.3% to $41,018m, a larger increase than GDP for the Australian economy which grew by 4.9%.

All the aggregates above are presented in current price terms, and so include the effects of price change as well as the volume of tourism activity. Volume estimates of tourism have not been compiled because of conceptual issues involved in deflating the supply side estimates. In the absence of volume estimates, the tourism share of industry GDP is presented. In 2011-12 the tourism share of GDP remained steady at 2.8%. Tourism's share of GDP has declined steadily since a peak of 3.5% in 2000-01. While the peak in 2000-01 was heavily impacted by price increases in tourism services, resulting from the introduction of the GST and the volume impact of the Olympic Games, the overall trend of declining share has continued over a long period.


Accommodation, Air, water and other transport, Other retail trade and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services continue to be the most significant tourism industries. Combined, these industries account for 57.6% of direct tourism gross value added in 2011-12. In 2011-12, the following industry divisions were the most significant contributors to tourism gross value added: Accommodation and Food Services (34.3%); Transport, postal and warehousing (22.0%); Retail trade (13.7%); Ownership of dwellings (8.6%); and Education and training (6.4%).

Graph Image for Contribution to tourism value added, selected industry divisions

Direct tourism gross value added increased by $1,909m (5.3%) in 2011-12 to $37,621m, driven by strong growth across a number of tourism characteristic industries. The tourism related industries representing the largest contributors to the increase in tourism gross value added in this period were Accommodation (up $446m, 7.4%), Air, water and other transport (up $372m, 6.5%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (up $291m, 7.6%), Ownership of dwellings (up $230m, 7.7%) and Travel agency and tour operator services (up $221m, 13.9%). Travel agency and tour operator services growth was driven by strong growth in domestic package tours (up 34.9%) in 2011-12. Only two 'industries' had falls in direct tourism gross value added in 2011-12, All other industries (down $84m, -3.7%).and Education and training (down $51m, -2.1%).

Graph Image for Growth in tourism value added, selected industries


For 2011-12, domestic tourism consumption represented 76.0% of total tourism consumption, whereas international consumption represented 24.0%.

The increase in internal tourism consumption of 6.8% to $106,552m in 2011-12 represented the highest annual growth rate for this aggregate since 2006-07. Of this figure, Domestic tourism consumption increased by 8.3% to $81,005m in 2011-12, which is the strongest annual growth rate since 1998-99 (at a time when tourism accounted for 3.6% of total industry gross value added). International tourism consumption increased by 2.1% to $25,547m in 2011-12, following an increase of 3.9% in 2010-11.

Graph Image for Growth in domestic and international tourism consumption

Of the $6,223m increase in domestic tourism consumption in 2011-12, consumption by households increased by $4,193m (6.7%) and consumption by business and government increased by $2,031m (16.1%).The contribution of domestic business/government tourism consumption to total internal tourism consumption increased from 12.7% in 2010-11 to 13.8% in 2011-12, its highest level since 2001-02. Changes in household disposable income are considered a key indicator of household consumption behaviour. The graph below presents a comparison of growth in disposable income and household tourism consumption since 2003-04.

Graph Image for Growth in household tourism and disposable income

The major contributors to the increase in domestic tourism consumption in this period were Fuel (up $1,463m, 18.0%), Takeaway and restaurant meals (up $1,093m, 8.6%), Long distance passenger transportation (up $969m, 8.5%); Accommodation services (up $773m, 9.8%); Travel agency and tour operator services (up $443m, 15.0%), and Food (up $434m, up 9.4%). At the same time, reduced levels of domestic tourism consumption were only recorded for Other tourism goods and services (down $183m, -9.0%).

SHARE OF TOURISM CONSUMPTION, Selected tourism products, By type of visitor: 2011-12

Business/ government
All visitors

Long distance passenger transportation
Takeaway and restaurant meals
Shopping, gifts and souvenirs
Fuel (petrol, diesel)
Food products
Alcoholic beverages and other beverages
Imputed and actual rent on dwellings
All other tourism products

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

Major contributors to total tourism consumption continue to be Long distance passenger transportation, Takeaway and restaurant meals, Shopping (including gifts and souvenirs) and Accommodation services. Combined, these products contribute 56.2% of total tourism consumption in 2011-12. This combined contribution to total tourism consumption is down 0.4 percentage points on 2010-11.


Tourism exports are domestically produced goods and services consumed by international visitors to Australia. Tourism imports are consumption of overseas produced goods and services by Australians on overseas trips. Since 2004-05 tourism imports have exceeded tourism exports, resulting in deficits in the tourism balance of trade (tourism exports less tourism imports). In 2011-12 the deficit totalled $6,734m.

Graph Image for International trade in tourism

Despite the trade deficit, tourism makes an important contribution to Australia's total export earnings. Total tourism characteristic products compare favourably with some other Australian 'traditional' export products. Whilst the contribution of tourism to total exports has fallen from 12.8% in 2003-04 to 8.1% in 2011-12, in current price terms the value of these exports (international visitor consumption) has grown from $18,776m to $25,547m. In 2011-12 tourism made a slightly higher contribution to Australia's export earnings than food and live animal products, although it made a smaller contribution than key mining exports such as iron ore and concentrates and coal, coke and briquettes. These mining exports have experienced much higher growth rates over the period 2003-04 to 2011-12.

Graph Image for Selected export products, as a percentage of total exports


Tourism is an important source of employment in Australia, accounting for 4.6% of total employed persons in the economy. Tourism's share of total employment is greater than its share of gross value added (2.7%) . This is because tourism tends to be more labour-intensive than, on average, other forms of economic activity. The tourism industry employed 531,900 persons in 2011-12, an increase of 1,600 (0.3%) on 2010-11. This compares with an increase of 1.1% in total employed persons in the Australian economy.

Graph Image for Selected industries, as a percentage of total employed persons 2011-12

In 2011-12, 44.5% of total tourism employed persons were part-time. This compares with the economy wide proportion of part-time workers of 29.5%. This equates to tourism contributing 7.0% of total part-time employed persons in 2011-12. Only four other industries had a higher share of total part-time employed persons in 2011-12.

Graph Image for Selected industries, as a percentage of full-time and part-time employed persons 2011-12

In 2011-12, tourism had 294,900 full-time employed persons, which accounted for 55.5% of tourism employment. Tourism had a lower relative share of full-time employed persons (3.6%) than twelve other industries (out of a total of nineteen industries), although this share was higher than the Mining industry despite the latter contributing more to total industry gross value added and exports of goods and services.

This publication presents a split of tourism employed persons into male and female workers for the first time since experimental estimates were released relating to the reference year 1997-98. In 2011-12, females accounted for 286,000 tourism employed persons, or 53.8% of the tourism workforce. Tourism accounted for 5.5% of total female workers in 2011-12. In 2011-12, males accounted for 245,800 of tourism's employed persons (46.2% of tourism workforce), or 3.9% of total male employment.
Graph Image for Selected industries, as a percentage of male and female employed persons 2011-12


The increase in tourism consumption by same day domestic visitors in 2011-12 (up 11.5%) was driven by an increase in the number of same day visitors (up 8.0%) and an increase in average consumption by same day visitors (from $107.40 to $110.90 per trip (up 3.2%). The increase in tourism consumption by overnight domestic visitors (up 7.4%) was the result of an increase in the number of visitors (up 3.4%) combined with an increase in average consumption by overnight visitors (from $817.0 in 2010-11 to $848.8 in 2011-12, an increase of 3.9%).

Graph Image for Growth in same day and overnight visitors

The increase in international tourism consumption in 2011-12 (up 2.1%) was the result of an increase in the number of visitors (up 1.3%) combined with an increase in average consumption by international visitors (up 0.8%). The overall increase in the number of international visitors to Australia was driven mainly by gains in the number of visitors from China (up 16.7%), New Zealand (up 0.8%), Indonesia (up 6.4%) and Taiwan (up 9.9%).

Graph Image for Growth in international and domestic visitor numbers

The number of Australians travelling overseas grew by 8.0% in 2011-12, with the growth driven by increased number of Australians visiting Thailand, Indonesia, and the United States of America.

The 8.0% growth in Australians travelling overseas in 2011-12 followed two years of strong growth of 15.9% in 2009-10 and 9.9% in 2010-11. Cumulatively, since 2008-09, the numbers of Australians travelling overseas increased by 2.197m (from 5.843m in 2008-09 to 8.040m in 2011-12) or 37.6%. This growth coincided with a strengthening in the Australian exchange rate, which after a significant fall against other currencies (as measured by the Trade Weighted Index) in the first seven months of 2008-09, increased by 43.8% between January 2009 and June 2012.

Graph Image for Growth in Australian resident departures and the Trade Weighted Index

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