One of the key assumptions made in the methodology of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is that the structure of the economy changes slowly over time and therefore structural relationships within the account are relatively stable from year to year. For this reason the relationships are generally updated every 3 years as part of the benchmark process (see the Methodology section for more information). This assumption holds well except when there are sudden economic shocks that result in structural changes in the economy. COVID-19 is such an event. When shocks occur, best practise is to review and update the underlying relationships to ensure estimates accurately reflect the events. For details on the changes made due to COVID-19, please refer to the next section on Changes in this issue.
The International Visitor Survey (IVS) data sourced from Tourism Research Australia (TRA) is one of the key inputs to TSA. Due to the international border closure and the potential public health risk during the pandemic, IVS interviews were paused during the September 2020, December 2020 and March 2021 quarters. For information on TRA COVID-19 changes, please refer to their webpage.
The IVS data used to compile the 2020-21 TSA is therefore partially imputed. For details on the potential implications of this, please refer to the Methodology section on Measurement Error.