Destination Research delivers simple and relevant analysis of visitor data at the local government, and regional level. We use data provided by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) in the NVS and IVS surveys to assess domestic and international visitors.
- Our Tourism Monitor Report provides analysis relevant to the LGA (local government area) across 10 variables:
- Visitor numbers
- Visitor nights and average length of stay
- Purpose of trip
- Age groups
- Source markets
- Key activities
- Lifecycle groups
- Transport and/or place of arrival
- Travel party type (package, backpackers).
TRA conducts statistically reliable surveys of domestic travellers over the phone asking for details of travel undertaken throughout Australia, and asking for the destination and activities of travellers. This provides a pattern of where visitors are travelling and how much that travel is worth to the economy. The data is reported quarterly, however it is not released to the industry until a few months later. In a separate survey, international travellers are surveyed at airports and cruise terminals to discover their visitation patterns while they are in Australia.
We are aware that the TRA data has known issues particularly when analysing smaller segments of visitors coming to regional areas – where the sample size is small the results can be unreliable. For example the numbers of international heritage tourists in Tinsell Town is a tiny percentage of all international tourists to Australia, and is therefore hard to accurately capture in a large survey. In these cases the research is therefore considered an indication of visitor trends rather than actual performance measures.
Despite the slight variations in smaller segments of data the TRA data is the most reliable source of visitor data available, showing historical data over the past 10 years. The best indicator of the reliability of TRA data is the consistency of the results over time. As shown in the Tourism Monitor report, the ratios of tourists, their activities and accommodation remains fairly constant over both five and ten year timeframes. It is important however to seek further research into specific market segments before basing planning, development or investment decisions on TRA data alone.