5249.0 - Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/10/2000   
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October 17, 2000
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Landmark ABS figures show tourism 4.5 per cent of Australia's GDP

Visitors consumed $58.2 billion of goods and services in Australia during 1997-98, according to a landmark Australian Bureau of Statistics report launched in Sydney today by the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly.

The tourism industry directly accounted for 4.5 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) in that year.

The 'bottom-line' estimate, along with many other new figures published in Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98, forms the first official set of numbers that relate the tourism industry to Australia's system of national accounts.

In handing the report to Minister Kelly, the Australian Statistician, Mr Dennis Trewin, said that while tourism had long been regarded as an important activity and indicator of Australia's well-being, the actual contribution of the "tourism industry" to the Australian economy had never been officially measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a significant breakthrough, using newly approved international standards and puts Australia up with the best in the world in terms of statistics for analyses of this important industry," he said.

"As an analytic tool, the TSA will help researchers understand the inter-relationships and impact of tourism on the economy and contribute to informed decision making in the sector.

"Besides its use as a measure of the contribution of tourism to overall economic activity, the TSA will enable: comparisons of tourism with other industries; analysis of the impact of tourism on industries; analysis of visitor demand and tourism employment issues; comparison of tourism performance across countries; input to models examining; and predicting the downstream economic impacts of tourism.

"ABS undertook this project in response to specific calls for information on the economic impacts of tourism, and with financial support from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources," he said.

Further details can be found in Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98 (cat. no. 5249.0) available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.