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Tourism is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, generating markets for a wide variety of goods and services.
In 2001-02, there were 217.3 million total domestic visitor trips taken by Australian residents aged 15 years and over in Australia. Nearly two thirds of these trips were taken by same day visitors (65.5%), with overnight visitor numbers accounting for the remainder (34.5%). In this period, there were also 4.8 million short-term overseas visitor arrivals to Australia.
In trend terms, the number of monthly short-term overseas visitor arrivals to Australia rose from 213,600 in June 1992 to 398,200 in June 2002 (an increase of 86.4%). Over this period, the most significant monthly fall was recorded in September 2001 (down 2.6% from August 2001), coinciding with the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Tourism activity can also be described by data on the capacity, occupancy rates, and takings from short-term non-residential accommodation such as hotels, motels and guest houses, serviced apartments.
In original terms, overall demand for rooms in licensed hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments fell marginally in 2001–02 compared to 2000–01, with occupancy rates down 0.1 percentage points. The figures for room nights occupied and room occupancy rates in the month of June 2002 were the lowest since December 1999.
Tourism is essentially a demand concept. It is not an industry in the traditional sense, in which industries are classified in accord with the goods and services that they produce, because tourism depends on the status of the customer (as visitor). Tourism comprises 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.
Tourism statistics are used by many government agencies, state and territory tourism authorities, research bodies and businesses. Different aspects of tourism activity can be described by:
The contribution of tourism to major economic aggregates, as well as its inter-relationships with other economic activity, is measured in the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA).
The TSA is compiled within a national accounting framework. It includes details by type of visitor, what products were purchased by tourists, and which industries supplied those products. It partitions industries into tourism and non-tourism activities so that the direct contribution of tourism to the economy can be estimated on a consistent basis with traditional industry groupings (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification divisions) published in ABS statistics, such as agriculture, manufacturing and retail trade.
Tourism GDP is the total market value of Australian produced goods and services consumed by visitors after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production.
Tourism gross value added measures the value of tourism gross output at basic prices (i.e. excluding product taxes such as the GST) by all industries which supply tourism products, less the value of the inputs used in producing these tourism products. This measure is free from distortions in prices caused by changes in tax rates or the introduction of new taxes over time.
Accommodation Industry, Australia (8695.0)
Contains business size, employment, income and expenditure data as well as an historical overview of the accommodation industry.
Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account (5249.0).
Presents estimates of the direct contribution of the tourism industry to the Australian economy within the context of a satellite account linked to the Australian System of National Accounts. It provides users with a macro-economic framework to conduct analyses of tourism impacts on the economy.
Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (3401.0)
Provides a summary of monthly data for all movements into and out of Australia, including details of overseas visitors by country of residence, intended length of stay and purpose of journey.
Research Paper No. 6: Tourism’s Indirect Economic Effects 1997-98 (Bureau of Tourism Research, 2001).
Measures the indirect economic effects of tourism in terms of factors such as GDP, value added and employment. It complements the measure of the direct contribution of tourism to the Australian economy provided by the ABS in the Tourism Satellite Account.
Tourist Accommodation, Australia (8635.0)
Contains quarterly data on capacity, occupancy rates and takings for establishments providing short-term accommodation for each state and territory and Australia.
Tourism Indicators, Australia (8634.0)
Contains a range of tourism statistics together with articles on tourism issues.
Tourism Theme Page
Provides summaries and links to ABS products and services, non-ABS sources of tourism information, recent developments, and more.
Travel by Australians: quarterly results of the National Visitor Survey (Bureau of Tourism Research)
Provides quarterly data on the travel patterns and behaviour of Australian residents.