Tourism is important to the Australian economy, underpinning a wide range of industries. The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) reported that more than $70b worth of tourism goods and services were consumed in 2001-02.
Tourism is not an 'industry' in the traditional sense. Industries are classified in accordance with the goods and services they produce, whereas tourism depends on the status of the customer (visitor). For example, consumption of a restaurant meal by a visitor is defined as 'tourism'. When the meal is consumed by a resident, the consumption is not 'tourism'. The TSA creates a broad picture of tourism, which allows it to be compared to conventional industries like agriculture, manufacturing and retail trade.
The estimates of tourism gross value added relate to the direct impact of tourism activity. This means only the value added where there is a direct economic or physical relationship between the visitor and the producer of a good or service is included. Similarly, the employment estimates only include employment generated where visitors have a direct relationship with the producer of the good or service.
Tourism gross value added
Gross value added is the preferred national accounts measure of industry production as it excludes taxes and subsidies on products. In 2001-02, tourism gross value added was $26.5b, contributing 4.1% to total industry gross value added (graph 21.1). The industries which accounted for the largest shares of tourism gross value added were: air and water transport (14%); accommodation (11%); cafes, restaurants and takeaway food outlets (10%); and the other retail trade industry (9%). The remaining share was distributed widely among other industries.
In 2001-02 tourism directly generated 549,000 jobs, a marginal decrease on 2000-01. The tourism industry's share of total national employment fell in 2001-02 to 5.9%, following a consistent 6.0% share of national employment from 1997-98 to 2000-01.
Retail trade generated the most direct tourism employment (145,400 persons) in 2001-02. Retail trade, accommodation, and cafes and restaurants accounted for more than half of the employment generated by tourism.