9502.0.55.001 - Framework for Australian Tourism Statistics, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/09/2003   
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15. Before attempting to statistically measure tourism it is necessary to define it.

16. Tourism is commonly thought of, and referred to, as an industry. Industries are classified in accordance with the goods and services that they produce.

17. In the case of tourism, however, the defining element is not the type of commodity produced, but the type of consumer. Tourism depends on the status of the consumer as visitor. The supply of any product to a person who is a tourist is a tourism activity, while the supply of the same product to a person who is not a tourist is not a tourism activity. This is a demand concept in national accounting terms. This means that tourism is not an industry in the traditional sense.

18. The demand concept of what constitutes tourism was adopted by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) in 1993 as the international statistical standard. The WTO has defined tourism as:

      '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.'
19. Hence defining tourism comes down to defining travellers, also known as tourists or visitors. The WTO has defined a visitor as:
      'any person travelling to a place other than that of his/her usual environment for less than 12 months and whose main purpose of trip is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.'
20. Figure 1 shows the WTO's schematic breakdown of all travellers. At the highest level a traveller is defined as 'any person on a trip between two or more countries or two or more localities within his/her country of usual residence'.


21. Travellers are further categorised into visitors and other travellers. The category 'visitors' provides the means for identifying those persons whose activities constitute tourism. The reason(s) travel is taking place (i.e. the purpose of visit) is also shown in figure 1. Travellers not classified as visitors are considered to be 'other travellers', whose activities do not constitute tourism.
    22. The three fundamental criteria that distinguish visitors from other travellers are as follows:

    (a) The trip should be to a place other than that of the usual environment. Regular trips between a person's place of work or study and the place in which s/he resides are not part of visitor activity.

    (b) The stay in the place visited should not last more than twelve consecutive months. After this period the visitor becomes a resident of that place (from the statistical standpoint).
      (c) The main purpose of the visit should be other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited. This would exclude migratory movements for work purposes.

      23. These three criteria (discussed further in Chapter 2, The Elements of the Framework) impose only limited restrictions on the purposes of travel which enable a traveller to be classified as a visitor. A visitor may be someone who is travelling for pleasure, business, sport, health, education or religious purposes. Tourism comprises the activities of all of these categories of travellers. This is much wider in scope than the common perception of tourists as only including those travelling for pleasure/leisure. What is usually referred to as tourism is therefore more accurately termed visitor activity. The term visitor, with its wider application, is used in this context throughout this Framework.

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