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Tuesday, 3 May 1994
Page: 134

(Question No. 1235)


Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Tourism, upon notice, on 16 March 1994:

  (1) What was the purpose of the 1994 International Visitors Survey costing $686 100.

  (2) Was this the total cost, if not, what was the total cost.

  (3) How long does the survey last.

  (4) What information has been gained from this survey.

  (5) How are the results used.

  (6) What were the costs of the survey in 1992 and 1993.

  (7) Were these surveys considered a success; if so, why.

  (8) What results were gained from these surveys and how were they used.

  (9) How many visitors are surveyed in any one year.

  (10) What are the countries of origin of these visitors.


Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Tourism has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The International Visitor Survey (IVS) is designed to provide a profile of the characteristics, travel behaviour and expenditure of international visitors to Australia.

  (2) The figure of $686 100 is the contract price for the conduct of the core 1994 IVS. Additional costs are also incurred in commissioning and managing the survey, and for supplementary surveys. These supplementary surveys involve adding questions to the core IVS or asking questions of additional numbers of visitors, and are funded entirely by the government agency or business group commissioning the supplementary survey. For 1994 the cost of supplementary surveys totals $38 000 to date. Commissioning costs for the 1994 survey were $7 887.80, covering the contract period from 1994 to 1996. Staffing and overhead costs in the Bureau of Tourism Research associated with managing the survey are estimated at approximately $30 000 for 1994.

  (3) Interviews for the 1994 survey commenced in January 1994 and will continue to be conducted over the full year.

  (4) Results from the 1994 survey are not yet available. The first results (for the March quarter of 1994) should be available by June of 1994.

  (5) The International Visitor Survey is the only source of detailed information on the demographics, travel patterns, expenditure, impressions of Australia and future travel intentions of international visitors to Australia.

  The information from the survey is used widely by Commonwealth, State and local government agencies to identify tourism trends, to evaluate the success of marketing campaigns, to feed into statistical and economic analyses and as an adjunct to policy decisions. The tourism industry, academics and the general public also make extensive use of the data.

  (6) The contract price for the core 1992 IVS was $727 145. This was also the contract price for the core 1993 IVS. Supplementary surveys and special output tabulations totalling $61 558 were commissioned from the survey contractor in 1992, and supplementary surveys totalling $161 350 were commissioned in 1993. These additional costs were fully recovered from the government and industry bodies that initiated the work. In addition, there were staffing and overhead costs in the Bureau of Tourism Research associated with managing the survey, estimated at approximately $30 000 in each year. There were no direct commissioning costs incurred for the 1992 or 1993 surveys, as the contract period commenced in 1990.

  (7) The surveys were considered a success. They were undertaken on time, on budget and delivered the expected outcomes. The success is evidenced by the wide use made of the results by government agencies and the tourism industry for planning, marketing and forecasting decisions.

  (8) The 1992 and 1993 surveys are the only source of detailed information for those years on the demographics, travel patterns, expenditure, impressions of Australia and future travel intentions of international visitors to Australia. The survey results have been published in a number of printed reports and on Compact Disk—Read Only Memory (CD-ROM). Detailed unpublished data tables were supplied to Commonwealth, State and Territory government tourism authorities.

  The information from the survey was used widely by Commonwealth, State, Territory and local government agencies to identify tourism trends, to evaluate the success of marketing campaigns, to feed into statistical and economic analyses and as an adjunct to policy decisions. The tourism industry, academics and the general public also made extensive use of the data.

  (9) The number of people surveyed for the core IVS in 1992 was 12 083 and in 1993 the number was 12 007. In 1994 the contracted minimum sample size is 12 000.

  (10) IVS interviews are likely to be conducted with international visitors from any country. For major source countries and regions, a specified minimum number of visitors is surveyed throughout the year. The criterion for a specific minimum number of interviews is that a country or region supplies more than 1.5 per cent of international visitors to Australia. This guarantees that sample sizes from these countries and regions will be sufficiently large to allow detailed analysis of travel patterns and expenditures. The list of countries and regions with specific minimum sample sizes for 1994 is as follows:

  New Zealand

  United Kingdom and Ireland

  Germany

  Scandinavia

  United States of America

  Canada

  Japan

  Taiwan

  South Korea

  Thailand

  Hong Kong

  Singapore

  Malaysia

  Indonesia