The Tourism Program is responsible for producing regular and coherent data on tourism activities. It also undertakes a coordination and liaison role between tourism statistics users and other areas of the ABS that produce tourism related statistics. The program conducts the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) and compiles the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA). The Tourism Program is also responsible for the development and maintenance of tourism frameworks, standards and concepts. Tourism related data produced by other areas of the ABS includes Overseas Arrivals and Departures data, tourism related exports and imports indicators and data collected under the Industry Statistics program.
The main clients of the program are: the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; state and territory tourism departments; tourism industry associations; academic and research groups; and marketing and consultancy bodies.
Tourism statistics are used to assist in economic analysis and policy formation relating to tourism, to measure the size and structure of the tourism industry and related industries, to allocate state and territory government funding to regional areas, and for local government planning and investment. The STA data are an input into the policy and planning activities of government and industry, particularly in relation to tourism activity in regional areas. The TSA, funded by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, shows the contribution of tourism to major economic aggregates such as gross domestic product. This data supports policy development related to the Tourism 2020 goals.
The key outputs of the program include Tourist Accommodation, Australia (ABS cat. no. 8635.0) and the Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account (ABS cat. no. 5249.0). Tourist Accommodation, Australia provides detailed demand and supply data relating to hotels, motels and guest houses with 15 or more rooms, and serviced apartments with 15 or more units. One of the most valuable aspects of this data is the fine level of geographic detail for which estimates are available. Other outputs of the program relate to research and development work in such areas as tourism statistics frameworks and classifications.
The program also actively assists in user education relating to Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account (ABS cat. no. 5249.0), Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3401.0), tourism related services exports and imports indicators in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5368.0) and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5302.0), and the tourism related outputs issued by the Industry Statistics program.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- work with users to deliver a revised Survey of Tourist Accommodation that best meets user needs within existing constraints - due December 2015
- continue the research program for improving Tourism Satellite Account estimates - ongoing
- contribute to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and other international bodies as they examine statistical standards and classifications - ongoing.
Michael Beahan, Assistant Statistician, Industry and Productivity Statistics Branch
Topics @ a Glance - Tourism