5249.0 - Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/04/2006   
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1 The national accounts are a comprehensive set of economic data which are fully consistent and complete within the boundary of the economic activities they cover. Gross domestic product (GDP) is perhaps the most recognisable and important economic statistic from the core national accounts. Satellite accounts allow an expansion of the national accounts for selected areas of interest while maintaining the concepts and structures of the core accounts. Satellite accounts present specific details on a particular topic (both in monetary and physical terms) in an account which is separate from, but linked to, the core accounts. Therefore, a 'tourism' satellite account (TSA) highlights tourism within the national accounting framework.

2 Implicitly, tourism is included in the core national accounts. The products purchased by visitors, and produced by suppliers, are all part of the economic activity measured in the national accounts. However, while all the products that are produced and consumed in meeting tourism demand are embedded in the core accounts, they are not readily apparent because 'tourism' is not identified as a conventional industry or product in international statistical standards. In the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) underlying the Australian national accounts, industries are defined on the basis of the primary goods and services which they produce. On the other hand, the tourism industry 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.

3 A TSA provides a means by which the economic aspects of tourism can be drawn out and analysed separately within the structure of the main accounts. In fact, one of the major features of a TSA is that it is set within the context of the whole economy, so that tourism's contribution to major national accounting aggregates can be determined, and can be compared with other industries

4 The estimates of Tourism consumption, output, value added and gross domestic product (GDP) presented in this publication are recorded at current prices, that is the prices prevailing in the period to which the observation relates. This means that changes in these estimates over time are a result of changes in prices as well as changes in the underlying level of economic activity (or volume). For example, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2000 caused an increase in the current dollar value of tourism consumption and tourism GDP in 2000-01 and later years. This increase would occur even if the underlying volume of tourism services remained unchanged.


5 The concepts and methods used in the Australian TSA are based on international standards developed by an Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Tourism Statistics comprised of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the statistical arm of the Commission of the European Communities (Eurostat), the United Nations (UN), and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). The international standards were released electronically in March 2000 in Tourism Satellite Account: Methodological References, and were published in 2001 in Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework. National statistical offices such as the ABS were consulted during the development of the international standards. The standards are based the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93), which is the prevailing international standard for national accounts statistics.

6 The OECD also released a publication in 2000, Measuring the Role of Tourism in OECD Economies. This publication is consistent with the international standards however, it also includes the modelling of tourism generated employment as an extension to the TSA. The OECD manual also shows practical examples of how to compile tourism gross value added.


7 The estimates of tourism gross value added, tourism GDP and tourism employment in this publication relate to the direct impact of tourism only. A direct impact occurs where there is a direct relationship (physical and economic) between the visitor and producer of a good or service.

8 Indirect tourism demand is a broader notion that includes the downstream effects of tourism demand. For example, when a visitor buys a meal, indirect tourism demand is generated for the food manufacturer, the transporter, the electricity company, etc., that provide the necessary inputs required to make the meal. To fully measure the indirect effects, account should also be taken of changes in incomes which may feed through to further changes in tourism demand. A full analysis of indirect effects is best done using economic modelling. Tourism Research Australia (formerly Bureau of Tourism Research) have undertaken this work and their latest results are reported in the Tourism Research Report (Volume 5, No. 2 2004) Indirect Economic Contribution of Tourism to Australia, 2001-02.



9 The term 'tourism' in the international standards is not restricted to leisure activity. It also includes travel for business or other reasons, such as education, provided the destination is outside the person's usual environment.

10 An important conceptual distinction concerns the difference between travel and tourism. Travel is a broad concept which includes commuting to a place of work, migration and travel for business or leisure. The international standards describe the concept of tourism as comprising:

'...the activities of persons 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.' (Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework, para 2.1).

11 If a person stays in the one place for longer than one year, their centre of economic and social interest is deemed to be in that place, so they no longer qualify as a visitor.

12 While most of the economic impacts of tourism occur while persons are travelling, there are some exceptions. Tourism activity also includes consumption activity in anticipation of trips (such as purchases of camping luggage or travel insurance), or after the return home (such as having film developed for pictures taken during the trip).


13 The 'persons' referred to in the definition of tourism are termed 'visitors'. A visitor is defined as:

'...any person travelling to a place other than that of his/her usual environment for less than twelve months and whose main purpose of trip is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited' (Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework, para 2.4).

14 Visitors can be classified into national and international visitors. National or 'domestic' 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 persons who travel to a country other than that in which they have their usual residence.

15 For the purposes of measuring tourism gross value added and tourism GDP in the TSA, the consumption of Australian residents travelling overseas (outbound visitors) is excluded, except to the extent they consume domestically produced products before or after their overseas trip. This is because their consumption overseas does not relate to the value of goods and services produced within the Australian economy.

16 The following types of persons are not considered to be visitors:

  • persons for whom travel is an intrinsic part of their job, e.g., bus driver, air crew
  • persons who travel for the purpose of being admitted to or detained in a residential facility such as a hospital, prison or long stay care
  • persons who are travelling as part of a move to a new permanent residence
  • persons who are undertaking military duties
  • persons who are travelling between two parts of their usual environment.

Usual environment

17 The usual environment is made up of one or more areas in which a person undertakes their regular activities such as their place of residence, place of work, place of study and other places frequently visited. The usual environment criterion has two dimensions; frequency and distance. Places that are visited on a routine basis (at least once a week) are considered part of a person's usual environment, even if the place visited is located a considerable distance from their place of residence. Further, locations up to 40 kilometres from home for overnight trips and up to 50 kilometres from home (round trip) for day trips are included in a visitor's usual environment in the Australian TSA.

18 Although a considerable amount of tourism spending may take place within the usual environment (i.e. purchase of air tickets, tour packages, pre-paid accommodation), the consumption of most tourism services occurs outside of the usual environment. Visitors have a positive economic impact on their destination by generating additional consumption at the destination over and above that generated by the resident consumers.

Tourism consumption

19 Tourism consumption is defined as

'...the total consumption made by a visitor or on behalf of a visitor for and during his/her trip and stay at the destination' (Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework, para 3.8).

20 Included in this definition are both actual expenditures and imputations for the consumption by visitors of certain services for which they do not make a payment. Also consistent with the definition of visitors, tourism consumption includes expenditure by visitors whose primary purpose is business. Consumption before or after the trip is likewise included provided the expenditures are related to the trip, such as the purchase of luggage or film processing.

21 Tourism consumption is defined to include only transactions between a visitor and a business with whom the visitor has direct contact. Direct contact does not necessarily imply payment has to occur. For example, tourism consumption includes an imputation for the value of non-market services provided directly to visitors, e.g. museums and libraries, even though these may be provided free or at a price which is not economically significant. This is consistent with the treatment in the national accounts of non-market services provided by general government and non-profit institutions.

22 Some further information on particular inclusions and exclusions from tourism consumption are discussed in the 1997-98 issue of this publication.

Tourism gross value added and tourism GDP

23 Tourism gross value added and tourism GDP are the major economic aggregates derived in the TSA. The concepts are not the same and it is important to outline the differences between them.

24 Tourism gross value added shows only the 'value' which a producer adds to the raw material goods and services it purchases in the process of producing its own output. Tourism gross value added is measured as the value of the output of tourism products by industries less the value of the inputs used in producing these tourism products. Output is measured at 'basic prices', that is before any taxes on tourism products are added (or any subsidies on tourism products are deducted). Taxes on tourism products include the Goods and services tax (GST), wholesale sales taxes and excise duties on goods supplied to visitors. Tourism gross value added is directly comparable with estimates of the gross value added of 'conventional' industries such as mining and manufacturing that are presented in the national accounts.

25 SNA93 states that basic price measures are to be used for comparisons between industries and across countries because it is free of the effects of taxes and subsidies on products which can vary between industries (and countries) and over time. The tax and subsidy component of a product's sale price does not represent value added by the industry producing that product.

26 Tourism GDP, on the other hand, measures the value added of the tourism industry at purchasers' (market) prices. It therefore includes taxes paid less subsidies received on tourism related products as these are reflected in prices that visitors actually pay. Tourism GDP will generally have a higher value than tourism value added. Tourism GDP is a satellite account construct to enable a direct comparison with the most widely recognised national accounting aggregate, GDP. While it is useful in this context, the tourism gross value added measure should be used when making comparisons with other industries or between countries.

Gross fixed capital formation

27 Purchases of capital assets are excluded from tourism demand for the purposes of calculating tourism gross value added, as there is no direct relationship between the visitor and the acquisition of capital by the tourism industries. To include gross fixed capital formation in the tourism industry output and value added would also require that other industries be measured on a similar basis to allow for valid comparisons (e.g. the construction of a warehouse by a wholesaler would have to be attributed as output of the wholesale industry). Under such an approach the construction industry and much of the manufacturing industry would cease to exist.

28 The services that capital investment provide are captured to the extent that products implicitly include a component to cover the cost of capital. Whilst the purchase of capital by tourism industries is of significant analytical interest in its own right, data of sufficient quality are not available for publication in the Australian TSA. Industry data for gross fixed capital expenditure presents a number of difficulties, one being that operating leases of assets are included in the industry of the lessor, not the lessee.


29 Not all products and industries in the standard national accounts product and industry classifications are related to tourism. Therefore, the TSA distinguishes between products and industries that are related to tourism, and those which are not. Tourism related products and industries are further classified into tourism characteristic and tourism connected. There are three categories of industry and product in the TSA.

30 Tourism characteristic products are defined in the international TSA standards as those products which represent an important part of tourism consumption, or for which a significant proportion of the sales are to visitors. In the Australian TSA, for a product to be 'characteristic' it must account for at least 10 per cent of total tourism consumption and/or at least 25 per cent of the total output of the product must be consumed by visitors.

31 Tourism characteristic industries are defined as those industries that would either cease to exist in their present form, or would be significantly affected if tourism were to cease. In the Australian TSA, for an industry to be 'characteristic', at least 25 per cent of its output must be consumed by visitors. Whether or not an industry is classified as characteristic has no effect on total value added resulting from tourism, as the TSA measures the gross value added resulting from the production of products directly consumed by visitors, not the total gross value added generated by tourism related industries.

32 Tourism connected products and industries are those, other than those classified as tourism characteristic, for which a tourism related product is directly identifiable (primary), and where the products are consumed by visitors in volumes which are significant for the visitor and/or the producer.

33 All remaining products and industries are classified as 'all other goods and services' or 'all other industries' in the TSA. See Appendix 1 for a concordance between tourism related products in the Australian TSA, and products included in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Product Classification (ANZSPC), and Appendix 2 for a concordance between tourism related industries and industries included in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).


34 The supply and use tables for the Australian economy provide the framework in which data for visitor expenditure (demand) and industry output (supply) are integrated and made consistent in the TSA benchmark. Moreover, they provide the means of calculating tourism gross value added and tourism GDP. The input-output table variant provides a tool for further analysis and economic modelling of tourism.

35 The 'supply' table is a matrix showing (in the rows) the basic price values of products produced by each major industry. It also shows the supply of products from imports, and the net taxes on products and trade and transport margins required to derive supply at purchasers' prices. The 'use' table shows the use of each product, both as intermediate consumption by industries and in domestic final demand and exports. The use table also shows the primary inputs (compensation of employees and gross operating surplus) required by each industry.

36 The supply and use tables are brought to balance so that the supply of each product equals its use. The supply and use tables on which the TSA is based contain 53 industries and 225 products. To derive the TSA, it was necessary to augment the standard supply and use tables. As the objective of the TSA is to focus on tourism related products and the industries that produce them, some disaggregation of the products and industries shown in the standard tables was required. For operational convenience in constructing the TSA, the non-tourism products and industries were compressed, but the details still remain in the underlying supply and use tables.

37 An important characteristic of tourism products is that they are not uniquely defined by their nature, but by who purchases them. Therefore, the consumption of each product has to be divided into that part consumed by visitors and that part consumed by non-visitors. This information is used to partition industries into their tourism and non-tourism components, enabling the derivation of tourism value added and tourism GDP.

38 An important part of the compilation process is to check the consistency of data for visitor expenditures on products with the total supply of products. Apparent inconsistencies have to be resolved by further data investigations and adjustment.

39 More details on the supply and use approach to constructing a TSA can be found in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Measuring the Role of Tourism in OECD Economies, OECD, Paris, 2000. Readers who require more detailed information on supply and use tables more generally should consult SNA93.


40 The gross value added for an industry is derived as the gross output for that industry less the intermediate consumption required to produce that output. However, as the tourism industry is defined according to who purchases an industry's output rather than according to the nature of the output itself, tourism consumption is required in order to measure the tourism output of industries. For the current TSA time series, benchmark years relate to 1997-98 and 2000-01.

41 To calculate tourism gross value added, a number of steps are required. These can be summarised as:

  • identify which products in the economy are purchased by visitors
  • derive an estimate of tourism consumption for each tourism product
  • remove product taxes and subsidies, margins and imports from tourism consumption of each product at purchasers' prices to derive tourism consumption at basic prices - this represents the domestic output of tourism
  • determine what proportion of the domestic output of each product is consumed by visitors by dividing tourism consumption at basic prices into the total supply of each product at basic prices - this is the tourism product ratio
  • identify the industries which supply each of the tourism products to visitors
  • apply the tourism product ratio to the output of each product by each industry to derive the tourism output of each industry
  • estimate the intermediate consumption required to produce each industry's output of tourism products using relationships in the supply and use tables. The default assumption is that there is a constant ratio of output to intermediate consumption for both tourism and non-tourism products produced by an industry
  • calculate tourism gross value added at basic prices for each industry as tourism output less the intermediate consumption required to produce the tourism output, and sum for all industries in the economy. Tourism gross value added at basic prices is directly comparable to the value added for all other industries
  • tourism GDP is derived by adding net taxes on tourism products (calculated using visitor expenditures as a proportion of total expenditures) to tourism gross value added at basic prices. Tourism GDP is directly comparable to GDP.


42 It is not feasible to collect the detailed supply side data required to produce a timely full scale TSA every year. However, the key aggregates can be updated annually using relationships in the benchmark TSA and demand side data that are available on a yearly basis. The following steps are used in the update years:
  • derive an estimate of tourism consumption for each tourism product
  • remove product taxes and subsidies, margins and imports from tourism consumption of each product at purchasers' prices to derive tourism consumption at basic prices - this represents the domestic output of tourism
  • allocate the output of each tourism product to producing industry using ratios from the benchmark TSA
  • sum the products produced by each tourism industry to derive the output for each tourism industry
  • split industry output between value added and intermediate consumption using each industry's input-output ratios taken from the benchmark TSA. Where there is strong evidence of structural change in tourism related industries or the economy more generally, the TSA benchmark coefficients can be altered to reflect this
  • sum tourism gross value added for all industries to calculate the tourism industry's gross value added. Tourism GDP is derived by adding net taxes on tourism products.


43 The main data sources used to compile the benchmark and the update TSA are described in this section. The 1997-98 issue of this publication provides additional information on the data sources used to compile a benchmark TSA.

Tourism consumption data

44 The data sources for actual expenditures are the same for both the benchmark and updated years.

45 Most of the visitor expenditure data used in the compilation of the TSA was sourced from the Tourism Research Australia (TRA) in the National Visitor Survey (NVS) for expenditure by Australian visitors and the International Visitor Survey (IVS) for expenditure by international visitors. These data were also supplemented with data from the balance of payments and national accounts.

46 The international visitor consumption total is the sum of the balance of payments transportation and travel services items adjusted for conceptual differences between the TSA and balance of payments. The conceptual differences relate to the restricted coverage in the TSA of student visitors studying in Australia; imputations for non-market services provided to overseas visitors; margins on foreign exchange transactions, and the value of products provided to overseas visitors within private households. IVS data provide the detailed product information.

47 Adjustments to the TRA data were required to break down the following broad expenditure categories for both domestic and international visitors: organised tours, package tours, conference fees, and trips with more than 21 stopovers. Given a lack of suitable direct information, these allocations were made on the basis of models or supplementary information from either ABS or TRA surveys.

48 The major imputed component in tourism consumption relates to the imputed value in 'actual and imputed rent on holiday houses', where the imputed value of rent refers to the consumption of housing services provided by holiday houses to the owner. The estimate was calculated by multiplying average annual rents by the total number of holiday houses in Australia from the Census of Population and Housing.

49 An imputation for products provided to visitors in private households was derived using indicators from the ABS Household Expenditure Survey and IVS/NVS data which have been moved forward using household final consumption expenditure from the National Accounts. These methods were used for both the benchmark and updated estimates.

50 For the 1997-98 TSA the imputation for non-market services provided by government utilised data on visitor numbers from Cultural Trends in Australia (cat. no. 4172.0), whilst the imputation for foreign exchange margins was derived using international visitors' expenditure data, and data for currency buy/sell rates. These estimates have been extrapolated for the years 1998-99 to 2004-05 using movements in government final consumption expenditure on relevant products for the government imputation, and movements in the number of short term arrivals for the foreign exchange imputation.

51 Tourism consumption at basic prices (tourism output) has been calculated by removing the net taxes, margins and imports from tourism consumption at purchaser prices. For 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 this was done using relationships in the supply and use tables for those years. The supply and use table for 2004-05 is not available yet. In relation to taxes, for the benchmark year of 2000-01, the supply and use tables reflect the GST, and these relationships have been projected forward for subsequent years. Generally a 10% GST applies to all expenditure by domestic households and international visitors, excluding expenditure on education, health, international airfares, and groceries that are GST exempt. In the update years other product taxes, subsidies, imports and margins are calculated using a variety of sources including government budget reports, balance of payments data, and retail trade data.

Industry data

52 While the supply and use tables provide 'control totals' for industry output of products and the inputs required to produce those products, in the benchmark TSA years of 1997-98 and 2000-01 the data have to be disaggregated and rearranged to focus on tourism related products identified from tourism demand data. This has mostly been done using information from the ABS annual business surveys.

53 The ABS annual business surveys collect data for business income and expense items for all broad industry groups in the economy. These surveys were expanded in 1997-98 and 2000-01 to provide extra data for tourism characteristic industries. The ABS Economic Activity Survey (EASTAX), supplemented with taxation data, is the major source of data for the transport, automotive fuel, and motor vehicle hire industries. The ABS Service Industry Surveys are a major source of data for travel agents, libraries, museums and the arts, accommodation, cafes and restaurants, pubs and taverns, clubs, gambling industries and casinos.

54 As the TSA supply table is not updated for the extrapolated years, benchmark coefficients are carried through to the update estimates. For previously published TSA estimates benchmark coefficients from the 1997-98 TSA were applied to the time series. With the release of new benchmark data for 2000-01 a new set of coefficients were produced and the whole time series of TSA estimates were revised.


55 Persons employed in tourism related industries will generally provide services to both visitors and non-visitors. Tourism employment is derived somewhat simplistically for each industry by applying the tourism value added industry ratios from each of the benchmark years to employment estimates for each industry in subsequent years. The employment estimates between benchmark years are smoothed. This method of using the tourism value added industry ratios involves an assumption that the employment generated by tourism in each industry is in direct proportion to value added generated by tourism in the benchmark year.

56 Details by industry of employment are collected in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in the February, May, August and November months. Estimates of the number of employed persons by industry and in total have been calculated as the average of these four months. Total employment is derived by adding employment in the defence forces to the civilian labour force. To the extent that the survey months exclude the major Christmas holiday period, there could be some downward bias in estimates for the tourism industries. The exceptions are the accommodation, travel agency, cafes and restaurant, clubs pubs taverns and bars, casinos and other gambling services, and air and water transport industries, where employer survey data have been used when available. Employment in these industries has been extrapolated using movements in the LFS for the updated years.

57 Some of the tourism industries in the TSA have been compressed in the tables relating to employment because the LFS is not designed to produce estimates of sufficient accuracy for some of the fine-level industries in the TSA.

Other visitor characteristics

Domestic visitors

58 Domestic visitor numbers are sourced from the NVS. As the survey commenced in January 1998, the visitor numbers for this year have had to be extrapolated to a financial year basis (1997-98). Data for all subsequent years are based on financial year data from TRA.

International arrivals and departures

59 Data on international arrivals and departures (by country of origin or destination) were taken from the ABS publication Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0).


60 While as much care as possible has been taken to ensure the quality of the estimates in the TSA, users should exercise some caution in the use and interpretation of the results. In order to produce estimates at a finer level of product and industry detail than that normally provided in the national accounts, some of the data have had to be stretched up to the limits of their design capabilities. Moreover, major tourism aggregates such as tourism gross value added and tourism employment are not directly observable in practice. They have to be modelled in a supply and use framework. The assumptions underlying the estimates can have an effect on their quality.

61 The estimates have been prepared from a wide range of statistical sources. Some are closely related to the desired national accounting basis, but others are not completely satisfactory in various respects, including coverage, concepts and timing. Many of the tourism industries and products identified in this publication are at a more detailed level, or do not directly concord, with the industry and product details in the national supply and use tables. While every effort has been made to improve the survey coverage of the finer level tourism industries, the accuracy of these estimates are subject to a higher degree of error than that generally pertaining to the broader level estimates published in the national accounts.

62 Tourism expenditure data are generally obtained from large scale visitor surveys that are scientifically designed to produce estimates of good quality. These data are a key component of the TSA. In order to adapt these data to the concepts and classifications required for the TSA, some dissection and rearrangement of the data has been required. While the rearrangement of the basic data can impact on the quality of tourism consumption estimates for individual products, the aggregate level of tourism consumption should not be affected, although the estimate of tourism gross value added could be.

63 The most significant assumption in the compilation of a TSA relates to the use of the tourism product ratios and the tourism industry ratios in the calculation of tourism related monetary and employment aggregates. The default assumption is that the input requirements of tourism and non-tourism output are identical for an industry. While this is likely to be a more valid assumption for fine level industries where industry output is relatively homogenous (such as the taxi transport industry), there will be some instances where the assumption may be less valid. This is more likely to be the case where the tourism specialisation ratio of the industry is low, and a diverse range of products are produced (such as for other manufacturing). However, errors resulting from the use of assumptions will tend to offset in the calculation of the broad aggregates such as tourism value added and tourism GDP.

64 In the extrapolated years the allocation of tourism gross output to producing industry and the derivation of tourism gross value added are based on relationships that applied in the benchmark years of 1997-98 and 2000-01. The underlying assumption of this approach is that structural change occurs only slowly. The extrapolation techniques used in the TSA updates may not fully capture structural changes in the tourism industry and the Australian economy. To overcome this deficiency the benchmark coefficients can be altered in the TSA updates where there is strong evidence of structural change in tourism related industries. As the benchmark relationships are likely to become less relevant over time, extrapolated estimates only remain tenable where there is a realignment to periodic benchmarks.

65 Estimates of the number of persons employed in tourism related industries have generally been derived from the LFS. As this is a household survey, it has some deficiencies when used to derive detailed industry estimates. In order to mitigate some of these potential quality problems, estimates of employment have been published at a more aggregated industry level than that provided in the first dimension of the TSA.