Tourism grew at three times the rate of the total Australian economy in the 2014-15 financial year, according to official statistics just released.
Tourism Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.3% over the period, contributing a total of AUD 47.5 billion or 3% of GDP.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for the period was released on Friday. The TSA is recognised internationally as the benchmark for estimating the economic contribution of tourism in an economy. The Australian TSA is published each year, and provides measures of tourism gross domestic product (GDP), tourism gross value added (GVA), tourism trade, and employment in tourism.
Key findings for 2014-15 include:
- Direct tourism GDP increased 5.3% (or AUD 2.4 billion) to AUD 47.5 billion. Over the same period, the Australian economy grew at a slower rate (up 1.6%). Tourism’s share of total GDP increased strongly to 3%.
- Domestic tourism GDP increased 4.1% (or AUD 1.4 billion) to AUD 34.2 billion, with domestic tourism responsible for 72% of total direct tourism GDP.
- International tourism GDP increased 8.3% (or AUD 1 billion) to AUD 13.3 billion, with international tourism responsible for 28% of total direct tourism GDP.
- Direct tourism employment increased 6.3% (or 34,300 jobs) to 580,800. At the same time, total employment in Australia increased 1.8%. This resulted in tourism’s share of total employment increasing to 5%.
- More than half (54%) of persons employed in tourism were female. The number of females working in tourism increased 6.1% to 313,700. The number of males employed in tourism increased by 6.5% to 267,100.
- Tourism hours worked were 5.2% higher than in 2013-14.
- Total tourism consumption in Australia increased 4.3% (or AUD 4.9 billion) to AUD 121 billion. Domestic visitor consumption increased 2.7% (or by AUD 2.4 billion) to AUD 90.5 billion and International visitor consumption (or tourism exports) increased 9% to AUD 30.7 billion.
- Tourism exports represent around 9.6% share of total Australian exports. Tourism imports (or consumption made by Australians when travelling overseas) decreased 3.6% to AUD 34.5 billion. As a consequence, the tourism trade deficit halved to AUD 3.8 billion from AUD 7.6 billion in 2013–14.
Edited by Peter Needham