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About the Tourism Region Profiles

Tourism Research Australia's Tourism Region Profiles provide comprehensive supply and demand tourism data for all of Australia's 2014 tourism regions. The data includes:

  • Total tourism expenditure
  • Overnight visitors
  • Visitor/population ratio
  • Accommodation (rooms, occupancy and RevPAR)
  • Aviation (seats available and seat utilisation)
  • Tourism businesses
  • Tourism investment (projects and value)

National Visitor Survey methodology change

Mobile phone sampling was added to the national visitor (domestic) survey from the beginning of 2014. Prior to this, NVS data was only collected from persons with landline phones. This change has resulted in a break in series for the NVS as some of the reported trip rates and trip profiles are different for mobile phone respondents. Comparison of the 2013-14 data with earlier estimates should be interpreted with caution, as large apparent increases or decreases may be due (at least in part) to the change in methodology.

Tourism Region Profiles (Supply) : Methodology

Tourism Expenditure

Tourism Expenditure is calculated as the sum of the expenditure from international visitors, domestic overnight visitors and domestic day trip visitors to the region, as calculated by the Tourism Research Australia (TRA) regional expenditure model (REX). Regional numbers will not sum to the state totals as unknown, transit and offshore and migratory numbers have been included for states.
Data Sources: TRA International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey.

Overnight Visitors

Overnight visitors are the sum of international visitors and domestic overnight visitors. Regional numbers will not sum to the state totals due to visitors going to more than one region in the same state.
Data Sources: TRA International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey.

Visitor- Population ratio

Although the economic importance of tourism to a region is predominantly based on the proportion of value that tourism contributes to the total economy, the ratio of visitors compared to the permanent population of a region creates supplementary evidence of the level and impact of tourist density in individual tourism regions.
TRA uses the IVS and NVS to estimate the total number of visitors to tourism regions. The ABS provides population estimates across each region of Australia.
As the IVS and NVS only survey those over the age of 15, the regional population estimates have been compiled to include only residents over the age of 15.
Additionally, only overnight visitors (both international and domestic) have been included in the calculation. This is because they are likely to have a much greater impact on the economy of a region due to increased expenditure and participation in activities.
The Visitor-Population ratio is simply calculated as:

Therefore the visitor-population ration for Sydney can be calculated as:

Data Sources: TRA International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey; ABS Australian Demographics Statistics (Cat. No. 3101.0)
Data Sources: TRA International Visitor Survey and National Visitor Survey.

Tourism Accommodation

Tourism Accommodation is calculated using data for Hotels, Motels and Serviced Apartments for establishments with 15 or more rooms. The data is reported as published by the ABS in the year of issue for 2012-13 and 2013-14 only. The 2012-13 numbers have not been recast to represent the 2014 tourism regions (there were few changes in this time).
Rooms are based on the number of rooms available in the June quarter of the financial year. Occupancy and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) are calculated over the entire financial year period.
Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Survey of Tourist Accommodation (Cat. No. 8635.0)


Aviation capacity and seat utilisation are calculated using international and domestic inbound flight data to individual airports. This data was collated at a regional level based on the 2014 tourism regions.
Capacity is the number of available seats going to a specific airport, and includes intraregional travel. For example, seats on a plane travelling from Cairns to Mornington Island is counted as capacity into the Tropical North Queensland tourism region.
Seat utilisation is calculated as the total number of inbound passengers to a region (both domestic and international) divided by the total number of available inbound seats to the region.
Data Sources: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), Domestic and International Aviation Activity (unpublished data)

Tourism Investment

Regional tourism investment is calculated 2014 only using data from the 2014 tourism investment pipeline, in TRA’s Tourism Investment Monitor.
The tourism investment pipeline only includes projects valued at $20 million or more. Given this, where a region has no projects valued at $20 million or more, data is not available to report.
Data Source: TRA, Tourism Investment Monitor 2015 (unpublished data).

Tourism Businesses

Tourism businesses were calculated using ABS SA2 level data underpinning the TRA Tourism Businesses reports (2009 and 2015). This data was aggregated using the 2014 tourism region concordances and thus will differ from the estimates reported in those publications.
In 2009, the international standards used to classify tourism industry businesses were revised. Consequently, the methodology used to estimate the number of tourism businesses in Australia also changed, with a number of industry sectors now excluded from the tourism industry classification.
This revision has resulted in a number of data discrepancies between 2008–09 and 2009–10. For more information on the methodology changes, please see the information papers available on the ABS website: Introduction of revised international statistical standards in the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (ABS Cat. No. 5249.0.55.002) and Implementation of revised international statistical standards in the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (ABS Cat. No. 5249.0.55.003).
Data for 2014-15 is not yet available.
Data Source: TRA, Tourism Businesses in Australia, 2006-2009 and Tourism Businesses in Australia, 2010-2013

Definitions for the tourism region profiles


The type of accommodation used by an overnight visitor when visiting a particular location. The main categories are:
-  Backpacker or hostel
-  Hotel or similar
-  Friend or relative’s property
-  Guest house or Bed and Breakfast
-  Own property
-  Rented property (house, apartment, flat or unit)
-  Total caravan/camping – includes: Caravan park or commercial camping ground; and Caravan or camping - non commercial


Activities are grouped into three main categories:
-  Culture and heritage – includes: Attend theatre, concerts or other performing arts; Visit museums or art galleries; Visit art/craft workshops/studios; Attend festivals/fairs or cultural events; Experience Aboriginal art/craft and cultural displays; Visit an Aboriginal site/community; Attend aboriginal performance; and Visit history/heritage buildings, sites or monuments.
-  Food and wine – includes: Eat out/dine at a restaurant and/or cafe; and Visit wineries.
-  Nature based – includes: Visit national parks/state parks; Visit botanical or other public gardens; Whale/dolphin watching; Visit wildlife parks/zoos/aquariums; Bushwalking/rainforest walks; Snorkelling; and Scuba diving.

Average spend (commercial accommodation) per night

Within the tourism region, the sum of spend divided by the sum of nights for visitors who stayed at least one night in commercial accommodation.

Average spend per night

Total spend divided by the sum of nights for a tourism region.

Average spend per trip

Total spend divided by the total number of visitors to a tourism region.

Average stay

The sum of nights divided by the sum of visitors for a particular category.

Business visitors

Visitors who nominate business as their primary reason for travelling. Domestic business travel comprises business, and attendance at convention/conference/seminar/trade fair/exhibition, training and research (employed only) and work as driver or transport crew.
International business travel comprises business and attendance at convention/conference/seminar/trade fair/exhibition.

Domestic day visitors

Domestic visitors aged 15 years or more who travel for a round trip distance of at least 50 kilometres, and are away from home for at least four hours, and do not spend a night away from home as part of their travel. Same day travel as part of overnight and international travel is excluded, as is routine travel such as commuting between work/school and home.

Domestic overnight visitors

Domestic visitors aged 15 years or more who undertake trips that involve a stay away from home of at least one night, but less than one year, at a place at least 40 kilometres from home.

Domestic travel

Travel by Australians in Australia (including to Australian external territories such as Christmas Island).

International visitors

Short-term overseas visitors in Australia for a period of less than 12 months, aged 15 years or more.

Interstate visitors

Australians who visit one or more states or territories other than that in which they reside.

Intrastate visitors

Australians who visit a location within the state or territory in which they reside.


The number of nights spent away from home (and in Australia for international visitors) in association with individual trips.


The major reason for visiting a particular location. The major categories of reason for international and domestic travellers are:
-  Holiday
-  Visiting friends or relatives
-  Business
-  Other – includes Education; Employment/leisure travel (e.g. working holidays); Personal appointment/business; Medical reasons; Providing transport; Attend funeral; In transit; and for international travellers, Immigration and to renew visa.


Money spent by, and on behalf of, travellers during a trip. Expenditure items include airfares and other transport costs such as bus and train fares, and amounts spent on trip-related items before and after the trip. Expenditure on capital goods, such as motor vehicles and other major capital goods, is not included in the estimates for domestic tourism but is included for international.

Top origins

For international visitors, this is the countries of residence where most visitors to a particular location come from. For domestic visitors, this is a capital city or remainder of the state where most visitors to a particular location come from.

Tourism businesses

A tourism business is an active business entity registered on the Australian Business Register with an Australian Business Number (ABN). Tourism businesses rely significantly on visitors through both direct and indirect consumption of the tourism characteristic or tourism connected industry products or services the businesses produce.

Tourism Region

Tourism Regions are defined in consultation with the relevant national and state/territory tourism organisations and their boundaries are reviewed annually. Each Tourism Region is constructed from allocations of whole SA2s (Statistical Areas Level 2s). SA2s are a small spatial unit of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) developed and maintained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


The main mode of transport a visitor used to get to a particular location. The major categories are:
-  Air
-  Drive – includes Private/own vehicle/company car; Rental/hire car; Self-drive motorhome or campervan; and Four-wheel drive
-  Other – includes long distance transport, other land transport; water transport and other transport.

Travel party type

The types of groups that visitors travelled and shared most expenses with. The categories reported are:
-  Unaccompanied
-  Adult couple
-  Family group – includes parents and children travelling together
-  Friends/relatives travelling together  – includes friends or relatives travelling together with or without children
-  Other – includes business associates travelling together with or without spouse, school, university and college groups (including sporting), non-school sporting or community groups or clubs (domestic overnight visitors only) and other.


Travellers who stay for one or more nights in a location while travelling (domestic overnight visitors and international visitors) or spend at least four hours on a round trip more than 50km away from home (domestic day visitors).


State and territory abbreviations


New South Wales






South Australia


Western Australia




Northern Territory


Australian Capital Territory

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