Tourism comprises the activities of people (visitors) travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.
The term 'tourism' is not restricted to holiday or leisure travel. It also includes short-term travel for business or other reasons such as education, provided the destination is outside the person's usual environment. Travel is a broader concept which includes commuting to a place of work, long-term travel and migration.
Tourism is not an industry in the conventional sense. In the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 edition (1292.0), industries are defined on the basis of the primary goods and services which they produce. Tourism, however, is defined according to the status of the consumer. That is, it is the characteristics of the consumer that determine whether the production is included within the scope of tourism. For example, expenditure on a restaurant meal by a visitor contributes to tourism's share of the economy, whereas expenditure by a local resident does not.
Visitors, in purchasing products outside of their usual environment, have a positive economic impact on their destination by generating additional consumption at the destination over and above that generated by the resident consumers. This additional consumption provides the basis for the economic activity generated by tourism.
Visitors can be classified into national (domestic) and international visitors. National visitors consist of Australian residents who travel outside their usual environment within Australia. They include both overnight visitors (staying one or more nights at a location) and same day visitors. International visitors are those people who travel to a country other than that in which they have their usual residence.
This chapter outlines the value of tourism production, tourism consumption, international trade in tourism, and tourism employment. International visitor arrivals and Australian resident departures are covered, along with a range of data on visitor travel and tourist accommodation in Australia.
In 2003-04 tourism's share of the total production of goods and services in the economy was almost 4% of Australia's gross domestic product. More than three quarters of this was generated by domestic visitors as distinct from international visitors.
The tourism industry employed 536,600 people in 2003-04.
In 2003-04, international visitors consumed more than $17 billion worth of goods and services produced by the Australian economy. This represented 12% of Australia's exports of goods and services.