Frequently Asked Questions

  • +What is the scope of Tourism Research Australia’s (TRA) surveys?
  • The International Visitor Survey covers international visitors to Australia, and the National Visitor Survey covers Australian residents' domestic overnight trips, domestic day trips, as well as overseas trips (outbound trips).
  • +What geographical standards does TRA use in publications?
  • In 2012, TRA implemented the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas July 2016 (Latest)
  • +Where can I find data for my local area?
  • By state – The International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey are published quarterly and include state level data.

    By tourism region – The International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey quarterly publications include tourism region data for the top 50 tourism regions (see Table 9a in the International Visitor Survey, or Table 10 in the National Visitor Survey).

    By Local Government Area (LGA) – Most of TRA’s publications do not include data at the smallest level. The LGA profiles are the exception; they include data that is averaged over four years for those LGAs with adequate data sample. Data are drawn from TRA’s International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey, along with demographic and business data from the ABS. For LGAs with insufficient sample size or those that are too close to a capital city, customised data can be provided for a wider area or a longer average period. Contact Statsline at tourism.research@tra.gov.au.

    By Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) – Customised data by individual SA2 or combinations of SA2s are available by contacting Statsline at tourism.research@tra.gov.au. Subscribers to TRA’s Online Data facility automatically have access to SA2 data.
  • +What is the difference between the ABS’ Overseas Arrivals and Departures data and TRA’s International Visitor Survey data?
  • The ABS obtain their short-term visitor arrivals data from the Department of Home Affairs, while TRA’s International Visitor Survey is a sample-based survey conducted with departing visitors in airport lounges at the end of their trip to Australia. TRA uses the ABS data to upscale the survey results to match short term visitor arrivals. However, there are two main differences between the data provided by TRA and ABS:

         •   The International Visitor Survey only counts visitors 15 years and older, while the ABS’ figures include all visitors to Australia. This means that estimates of visitor numbers will always be lower from TRA than ABS.

         •   TRA’s data are more comprehensive, including places visited, demographics, spend, activities, accommodation, and transport type. Publically released ABS data includes only the number of visitors by country and state .
  • +How does TRA calculate estimates?
  • TheInternational Visitor Survey results are benchmarked to data on international visitor arrivals as published by the ABS. The international visitor arrivals data is collected by the Department of Home Affairs. The variables used in benchmarking the data are country of residence, main purpose of journey, state of arrival, airport of departure and age and sex of visitor.

    The National Visitor Survey results are benchmarked to the estimated resident population aged 15 years and over as provided by the ABS. Weights for the National Visitor Survey are calculated on an individual trip basis and account for the following:

         •   age, sex and place of origin of the respondent

         •   size of the household in which they live

         •   month of travel

         •   recall period applicable to the trip (for example, 7 days for day trips, 28 days for overnight trips and 3 months for overseas trips)

         •   number of interviews with a return date in this recall period.
  • +What are the limitations of TRA surveys?
  •      •   Sample sizes – TRA uses a sample size requirement of 40 to provide accurate estimates.

         •   Activities, accommodation and transport – Some questions asked in the International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey are asked about the entire trip, meaning that an answer cannot be attributed to one location, region or state. For example, even though a visitor reports a stop in Canberra, and a visit to the beach during the trip, it cannot be assumed that the visitor went to the beach in Canberra, as they may have had other stopovers that this activity occurred.

         •   Regional data – Data by region or SA2 level is not generally published in the quarterly publications. Local Government Area profiles are produced once a year for more detailed level data, and customised data requests are also available. Contact Statsline at tourism.research@tra.gov.au.

         •   Demographics – There is limited demographic data in the survey summary publications, however, the data are available through customised data requests.
  • +How much is a customised data request or an Online Data subscription?
  • Straightforward requests that can be completed in less than one hour are free of charge. More complex requests are charged at $275 per hour (including GST). Alternatively, TRA’s Online Data subscriptions are available, either quarterly or annually. Contact Statsline for a quote at tourism.research@tra.gov.au.
  • +Where can I find travel information for my trip to Australia?
  • TRA is a research area, but you can visit Tourism Australia for travel information at www.australia.com
  • +How do I correctly reference TRA as an information source (e.g. copyright)?
  • ‘Tourism Research Australia, year, publication title’

    If you are citing a customised request, use ‘Tourism Research Australia, year (unpublished data)’.
  • +I am interested in working for TRA; how do I apply?
  • Vacancies are advertised on the AUSTRADE career webpage

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