1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/01/1996   
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Reference is often made to a Tourism industry. However, tourism is best seen statistically as a 'demand' side activity, defined in terms of the activities of a particular type of consumer. It involves the purchase or consumption by visitors of any commodity. It is therefore not confined to particular commodities or to particular economic activities on the 'supply' side. It could include for example, purchases of services from transport and tour operators, accommodation establishments, theme parks and attractions, entertainment and arts venues, museums and historical sites, cafes and restaurants, casinos, travel agents and retailers. Because of this, it is not an industry in the traditional sense of an industry comprising businesses mainly undertaking a similar economic activity.

However it is possible to identify from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification a number of tourism related industries. In 1991-92 the ABS conducted surveys of a limited number of tourism related industries, specifically:

  • Accommodation
  • Pubs bars and taverns
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Licensed clubs
  • Casinos
  • Motor vehicle hire

The main results from those surveys are summarised in the table below:

The ABS previously conducted a survey of these industries (with the exception of casinos) in respect of 1986-87. In the period from 1986-87 to 1992-93, employment in these industries increased 21%, which represented an annual average rate of growth of 4%.

In addition to the above industry surveys the ABS also undertook a survey of amusement and theme parks in respect of 1991-92. Broadly speaking, an amusement park is a centre which typically offers rides, games and shows for entertainment. A theme park is similar to an amusement park but provides a range of entertainments and/or displays organised around a specific theme. Amusement and theme parks were included in the survey if they met the following criteria:

  • the park was primarily a tourist attraction and operated on a commercial basis;
  • its turnover was at least $150,000 in 1991-92; and
  • the park was permanently based at a fixed site which included attractions operating at one site on a seasonal basis.
  • On the basis of the above, 72 amusement and theme parks were included in the survey and results from the survey are presented in the table below.

The four largest amusement and theme parks accounted for 60% of income, 45% of employment and attracted 3,478,000 visitors in 1991-92.