8653.0 - Travel Agency Services, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/10/2006   
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1 This publication presents a range of statistics, in respect of the 2003-04 financial year, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) collection of businesses whose main activity was the provision of travel agency services. This is the third ABS collection on travel agency services. Previous collections were conducted in respect of the 1986-87 and 1996-97 financial years.


2 Data in this publication are based on a census of travel agency businesses licensed with the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) and classified to Class 6641 - Travel Agency Services (part), of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). This class comprises businesses mainly engaged in the provision of travel agency services such as transport, accommodation booking and tour wholesaling or retailing. Although tourist bureau services are included in ANZSIC Class 6641, tourist bureaux were excluded from the scope of the current collection. While the major activities of tourist bureaux are the provision of travel information and accommodation bookings, their main income source is non-travel activities such as the sale of souvenir products.

3 Several other types of business or agency were also excluded from the scope of this collection and these are listed below:

  • businesses such as domestic and international airlines, which carry out travel agency activities but are mainly engaged in other activities (e.g. providing airline transport services)
  • travel agencies operating solely in the Northern Territory, which are not required to be licensed with the TCF
  • agencies classified to Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia 3000 - General Government. However, government-owned or majority-owned public trading enterprises were within the scope of this collection.

4 A very small number of businesses ceased operations during the 2003-04 reference period. While it is normal ABS procedure to include the contributions of these businesses in the collection output, because of the particular nature of this data collection it was not possible to include these units.


5 The frame used for the Travel Agency Services Collection was taken from the TCF list of licensed travel agencies. The TCF is a regulatory body requiring all travel agencies (except those operated by government or located in the Northern Territory) to furnish a range of data and certified information about their operations. The list is updated annually to include new licensees.


6 The collection was conducted by fully enumerating all licensed travel agencies, classified to ANZSIC Class 6641 and covered by the regulations of the TCF.

7 Data were collected by the TCF as part of the annual financial review of licensed travel agencies to ensure their continued eligibility to provide travel agency services. The ABS and the TCF undertook a collaborative effort in the collection of these data in recognition of the degree of overlap in their respective data requirements. This resulted in a significant reduction in the potential provider load on travel agencies, a reduction in data collection costs for both ABS and the TCF, and the production of consistent, high quality data about businesses providing travel agency services.


8 As a result of the The New Tax System introduced in July 2000, most businesses and organisations in Australia need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and are then included on the Australian Business Register. The TCF list of licensed travel agencies included ABNs, so the statistical unit used to represent travel agency businesses was the ABN unit.


9 Historical comparisons with previous surveys are not made due to a number of changes in scope and collection methods since the conduct of the last collection:

  • Travel agencies operating solely in the Northern Territory were in scope of the 1996-97 survey but are outside the scope of the current collection.
  • Tourist bureaux were in scope of the 1996-97 survey but are outside the scope of the current collection.
  • In 1996-97 data obtained from the TCF were supplemented by a sample survey of travel agencies, but the current collection uses data only from the TCF.


10 No state or territory specific data were collected.


11 The estimates presented in this publication are subject to non-sampling error. Since the estimates in this publication include information obtained from all units in the collection population, the estimates are not subject to sampling variability.

Non-sampling error

12 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur in any type of collection and are referred to as non-sampling error. For this collection, non-sampling error may have resulted from such things as deficiencies in the register of businesses, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the collection is not precisely quantifiable. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology.


13 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


14 Data contained in this publication relate to businesses which operated in Australia at 30 June 2004. Financial estimates relate to the financial year 2003-04 but are reported only for those businesses operating at 30 June 2004. Counts of businesses include only those that were operating at 30 June 2004. Employment counts include only those persons working for licensed travel agency businesses during the last pay period ending in June 2004.


15 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


16 Inquiries about these statistics and more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by telephoning the contact shown on the front page.