27 September 2022

Celebrating 35 years of Tourism Research Australia

In 2022, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) celebrates 35 years as the official provider of Australian tourism insights.

TRA was established in 1987 through an agreement between Australia’s federal, state and territory governments. Its mission: to build a national understanding of the tourism landscape.

The partnership with states and territories has continued right through the 35 years. That partnership generates data, through TRA, that helps to underpin government tourism policy. TRA’s findings also help to improve the performance of Australia’s tourism industry.

These activities and insights benefit the thousands of Australian communities that rely on income from tourism.

A world-class statistical contribution  

TRA contributes to national statistics. Its National and International Visitor Surveys are inputs to Australia's System of National Accounts. They are used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to calculate wider statistical metrics like exports and household expenditure.

TRA also contributes to the global understanding of tourism. A TRA representative sits on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party for Tourism Statistics. Data is provided annually for both OECD and World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) publications.

Why is tourism data so important?

Relevant, timely and reliable data helps business, investors and governments make better decisions and plan for the future.

The national long-term strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030 emphasises the importance of research, data and insights. One of its actions is the formation of the Industry Data and Expert Analysis (IDEA) Working Group.

Led by TRA, the IDEA Working Group will identify industry data needs and growth areas. With the ‘big data’ landscape growing rapidly, there is potential for more detailed, timely data to help operators meet visitor expectations. The working group will: 

  • investigate data collection methods and activities and suggest improvements
  • deliver data-driven insights to inform government policy, underpin business improvement and build investor confidence.

How TRA helps businesses in the visitor economy

TRA equips business with information to strengthen marketing, product development, investment and other decisions. TRA’s team of data scientists and research analysts produce robust tourism research and analysis, including:

TRA data and insights are published regularly. They can also be accessed through the ’Statsline’ subscription service and bespoke data services can be provided on an hourly rate.

Growing the visitor economy

THRIVE 2030 is Australia’s national strategy for the long-term, sustainable growth of the visitor economy.