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8653.0 - Travel Agency Services Industry, Australia, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/1998   
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 26, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
86/98

Travel agency industry earnt two percent profit in 1996-97 - ABS

The travel agency industry earnt a two per cent profit margin in 1996-97 according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This was based on the 3,226 businesses in the travel agency industry earning a total income of $1,980 million in 1996-97 with total expenses of $1,936 million.

Most (65 per cent) of this income was earnt from ticket sale commissions. Australians spent $8,503 million in gross ticket sales through retail travel agents in 1996-97. Retail travel agents earnt 80 per cent ($903 million) of their income through these ticket sales.

International travel products accounted for 62 per cent of gross ticket sales with the remainder being the sale of domestic products. Travel agencies received an average commission on gross sales of travel products of 9.4 per cent, with highest commissions coming from domestic packages at 12.4 per cent.

The largest single expense for the travel agency industry were labour costs ($648 million), representing 33 per cent of expenses and averaging $28,600 for each person employed.

While the overall profit margin of the industry was two per cent, retail travel agent businesses showed an operating profit margin of 8.1 per cent, with the 10 retail travel agency businesses employing 100 or more persons having an average operating profit margin of 14.5 per cent. Inbound tour operators showed a profit margin of 6.5 per cent, but wholesalers and ticket consolidators had a negative profit margin of -16.8 per cent.

The travel agency industry comprised of 2,842 retail travel agents, 174 wholesalers and ticket consolidators, 170 inbound tour operators and 80 tourist bureaux at the end of June 1997 and employed 24,451 people Out of those employed 73 per cent (17,737 persons) were females. Retail travel agency businesses employed 16,505 people and accounted for 68 per cent of industry employment.

Details are in Travel Agency Industry, Australia 1996-97(cat. no. 8653.0) available in ABS bookshops in all capital cities. Main features of the publication are available from this site.

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