7th International Forum on Tourism StatisticsStockholm, Sweden, 9-11 June 2004 Current developments in expansion of Australia’s tourism data Stan Fleetwood Tourism Division Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources Canberra Australia
More funding for tourism research/statistics Government White Paper “A Medium to Long term Strategy for Tourism” New initiatives: $AUD235 million ($US165 million) Relevant initiatives: • Restructure of tourism research/statistics infrastructure • Improvements to statistical series
Restructure of tourism bodies From 1 July 2004: Tourism Australia Australian Tourist Commission See Australia Bureau of Tourism Research Tourism Forecasting Council
Tourism Australia • Provide stronger direction and leadership for Australia’s tourism sector • Create synergies • Eliminate any perception of duplication of activities of merged bodies • Eliminate any real or perceived rivalry between merged bodies • Strongly supported by the industry
Improvements to statistics/research $AUD21.6 million ($US15 million) allocated to improvements in statistics/research: • Expansion of tourism forecasting • Funding the Australian Tourism Satellite Account • Expansion of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation • Enhancement of domestic and international inbound tourism collections
Current forecasting structure • Tourism Forecasting Council currently produces forecasts • Established in 1993 • Comprises industry and government representatives • Technical committee compiles draft forecasts • Forecasts normally produced twice a year
Expansion of forecasts Up to now, the TFC’s forecasts have covered: • International Inbound tourism: Visitors and Visitor Nights by main source market by main purpose of visit; Visitor Nights in Hotels/Motels/Guest Houses; and tourism export earnings. • International Outbound tourism: Visitors by main purpose of travel and by main destination country. • Domestic tourism: Visitor Nights by main purpose of travel; and Visitor nights in Hotels/Motels/Guest Houses. Expansion will add: • State/Territory Capital City vs Rest • Expenditure
Tourism Satellite Account funding • ABS produces Tourism Satellite Account • Full account every three years, with estimates of main variables in intervening years • Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources funds two-thirds of the cost • Funding for the next four years is now assured
Survey of Tourist Accommodation • The ABS produces the Survey of Tourism Accommodation • Monthly census of 4,000 hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments • Every third year caravan parks, visitor hostels and holiday flats/units are included • Provides very small-area data • The survey was severely cut in 1998 • Pressure from users to expand since then
Expansion of Survey of Tourist Accommodation From January 2005: • Hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments with 5 or more rooms will be included (currently only establishments with 15 or more rooms are included) • Caravan parks, visitor hostels and holiday flats/units will be included every year
Establishment of Tourism Statistics Regional Advisory Service • Low level of knowledge of available data – particularly by small businesses • Little understanding of how to use the data • Four advisors will be based in States/Territories, servicing on average two States/Territories each • Will undertake: training, seminars, awareness raising, assistance using data, etc.
Enhancement of domestic andinternational tourism statistics Funding allocated for : • Enhancement of the International Visitor Survey • Expansion of the National Visitor Survey National Visitor Survey: • Telephone survey of 80,000 households per year International Visitor Survey: • Face-to-face survey of 20,000 departing international visitors
Improvement of the statistics • Meeting of Tourism Ministers in February 2004 to discuss implementation of the Strategy • Discussions between representatives of Federal government, State/Territory governments and of industry • A “clean-sheet” approach was taken to identify stakeholders’ needs and how these might be met • Priority need was for demand side data at the regional/destination level
A possible approach: • Development of a destination survey kit; • Expansion to the currently existing surveys, the NVS and IVS; and • Improvements to the NVS and IVS
A destination survey kit? • National surveys – eg NVS and IVS – can never provide good data at small region/destination level • For these regions/destinations a destination survey might be the answer • But, these have a bad record
Destination surveys: Lessons learned • The survey must be run by a research/statistical agency with the relevant expertise in conducting surveys; • The survey methodology must be kept simple; • The local tourism industry and authority must be actively supportive; and • The surveys should be designed to complement, and be consistent with, the national surveys.
Expansion of NVS and IVS • Increase in NVS sample from 80,000 to 120,000 would provide data for 68 tourism regions (we now get data for 57) • Increase in IVS sample from 20,000 to 40,000 would provide data for 56 tourism regions (we now get data for 28) • These increases are possible within funding now available
Improvements to NVS and IVS • Core and non-core data - Core data: data required by all stakeholders - Non-core data: data required by one or more stakeholders • Timeliness
Next stages: • Recommendations to Australian Standing Committee on Tourism • When/if approved, recommendations to Tourism Ministers’ Council on 30 July 2004
and ….. fingers crossed! Thank you.