Australian Tourism Satellite Accounts
Tourism is an important activity in Australia. Its importance to many regions in Australia, and to the country as a whole, continues to grow. In response to calls for information on the economic impacts of tourism, the ABS, in conjunction with the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR), is developing an Australian Tourism Satellite Account (ATSA).
Information to be contained in the ATSA
Tourism is 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 many commodities (goods or services). Tourism is not confined to particular commodities or to particular supply-side economic activities. Thus tourism is not an "industry" in the sense traditionally used by economic statisticians. It is not recognised as an industry in ABS classifications or in the Australian National Accounts.
With the strong growth in tourism in recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of the economic activity which results from it. However, there is no official measurement of tourism's contribution to, and role in, the economy. As a means of developing such a measure, and assessing the importance of tourism more generally, the concept of a "tourism satellite account" has been proposed.
The ATSA will provide a detailed data set on the economic aspects of tourism. It will be based on, and have close links to, the national accounts. Through its use of national accounts concepts, the ATSA will enable the economic aspects of tourism to be compared with those of the more traditional industries. For example, it will measure value added, employee compensation and employment which results from tourism demand, in a way which is compatible with such measures for other industries.
The ATSA will help policy-makers and analysts assess the direct and indirect effects of tourism on the economy as a whole.
Expected release date
The ATSA will relate to the reference period 1997-98 and is scheduled for release in October 2000.