8602.0 - Tourism Newsletter, July 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2009  Final
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Tourism Statistics | news

ABOUT OUR WORK - ABS Tourism Statistics

ABS tourism statistics
Tourism is not an industry or product in international statistical standards but is commonly considered an industry by tourism researchers and economic analysts. In National Accounts terms, tourism activity actually takes place in a number of other industries including transport, accommodation, cafes and restaurants etc. The Australian National Accounts figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross Value Added (GVA) therefore, include tourism activity but do not distinguish it from other economic activity. For the purposes of research and policy analysis and monitoring, however, it is useful to isolate and draw together tourism related data. The ABS does this, on behalf of the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), in the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA). The TSA measures the direct contribution of the tourism industry to the Australian economy, using the demand generated by visitors and the supply of tourism products by domestic producers. The TSA contains, among other statistics, a tourism GVA and tourism GDP which can be compared with the GVA and GDP of other directly collected industries, and of the economy as a whole.
Image: The front of ABS House
The ABS takes very seriously, the need for reliable, accurate and useful data. In order to continually assess the strategic value of its tourism statistics, the ABS takes an active role in understanding the industry, via:
  • Representation at meetings and fora where tourism clients and stakeholders come together to discuss their information needs;
  • Undertaking discrete analytical projects, such as developing national economic indicators of tourism;
  • Keeping ABS web materials current and relevant;
  • Contribution of ABS views on international standards and classifications relevant to tourism;
  • Continual assessment of effectiveness of communication with tourism stakeholders and clients;
  • Development of relevant ABS surveys by consulting with tourism stakeholders;
  • Seeking alternative sources of data in order to increase data efficiency and reduce provider load; and
  • Monitoring developments and emerging issues in the tourism industry.

The ABS strives to coordinate its many tourism related activities The ABS also receives information and statistics from other key players in the field of tourism statistics. For example, the surveys run and reported by Tourism Research Australia are of particular importance to tourism stakeholders and the ABS.