Department for Culture Media and Sport

tourism satellite accounts

The Tourism Satellite account work has been updated by the Tourism Intelligence Unit. This work has used the First Steps project to develop the satellite account. To date an experimental account has been published for 2006 and a method of nowcasting has been established to estimate figures for 2007 and 2008.

In spring 2011 an update for the tourism satellite account will be published and this will include figures for the numbers employed by the industry.

TSA seminar

DCMS held a seminar on the use and interpretation of Tourism Satellite Accounts on 19 November 2004.

UK "First steps" project

The project report was published on Thursday 16 September 2004. It is downloadable from the UK TSA statistics output page.

What is a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)?

A Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a set of data tables based around analyses of data on both expenditure by tourists, and on business sectors which serve tourists.

A TSA provides a much enhanced set of statistics which are more accurate than by taking the results of individual surveys alone. These data include the contribution of tourism to the economy, and the number of jobs supported by tourism, for example. A TSA also opens up possibilities for modelling and analysis.

TSA "First steps" projects

DCMS is leading on the coordination of these projects.

Following an open competitive tender, and in conjunction with funding partners, the following appointments have been made:

  • UK project (led by DCMS) - Welsh Economic Research Unit
  • Ireland project (led by Failte Ireland) - University of Limerick
  • English Regions project (led by North West Development Agency) - Welsh Economic Research Unit
  • Crown Dependencies (led by Isle of Man) - Welsh Economic Research Unit

The broad aims of the projects are common:

  1. Compile TSA tables as far as possible given available data
  2. Highlight what would be further needed to compile a comprehensive Tourism Satellite Account

The envisaged outputs of the projects are:

  1. Compilation of TSA tables
    • TSA tables constructed as far as possible using currently available data and credible assumptions where needed and feasible.
    • A detailed report describing methods employed and assumptions made in the construction of the tables.
  2. A prescriptive report advising on future TSA work which includes:
    • A list of data deficiencies including data gaps and those assumptions which could be improved upon in the future, with new or improved data.
    • Recommendations of future actions required toward a comprehensive TSA.

The UK "First steps" TSA project is being funded by the following organisations: DCMS, the European Commission, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Visit Scotland.

DCMS also conducted a feasibility study in 1998: Feasibility study: compiling a Tourism Satellite Account for the UK (PDF 588kb)

TSA Advisory Group

In consultation with the Office for National Statistics, DCMS established a broad-based advisory group including representation of current TSA projects.

This group has been established in order to advise and to promote coordination and consistency in Tourism Satellite Account projects.

The role of group does not extend to management of projects, though the management groups of each project will be represented.

The following organisations are represented on the group :

  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry (NI)
  • Northern Ireland Tourist Board
  • Republic of Ireland representation
  • VisitScotland
  • Scottish Executive
  • Wales Tourist Board
  • Welsh Assembly
  • VisitBritain
  • North West Regional Development Agency (representing regional development agencies)
  • Academic representation
  • World Tourism Organisation representation
  • HM Treasury

To sign up to a distribution list for notification of when new material is posted to pages on Tourism Satellite Accounts, send an email to with the subject header "Distribution list".

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