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Contribution of Tourism

Tourism is a dynamic and pervasive industry that provides a range of benefits and value to organisations, communities and regions that participate in the industry. Tourism can provide value for a destination in a number of ways:

  • Economic – increased and diversified economic activity; flow-on economic benefits through a community; stimulus for economic development and investment;
  • Social / Cultural – enhanced quality of life, community development, employment and income, conservation of cultural heritage, increased amenity, community pride;
  • Environmental – awareness of environmental significance, conservation of natural and built environments, implementation of sustainable practices.

Many destinations have previously focused only on the economic value of tourism. However integrating both economic and non-economic impacts provides a more holistic view of tourism and better informs destination management decisions. Understanding and communicating the value of tourism within a community is important in order to:

  • Engage stakeholders, including governments, investors, businesses and the community, in understanding and recognising the importance of tourism within the community;
  • Ensure stakeholder commitment to tourism and destination management;
  • Link economic and community development to sound and sustainable tourism practice;
  • Engage social, political and cultural capital to enhance the value of tourism in a destination.

A number of tools have been developed to assist destinations to measure and communicate the economic, social and environmental value of tourism. What is clear from the research is that a consistent, transparent and robust method is needed and that tourism should be considered in the context of other industries in areas such as contribution to Gross Domestic Product, Quality of Life and environmental sustainability. More information is provided below about assessing the economic, social and environmental value of tourism to destinations, as well as lessons on communicating the value to the community and stakeholders.


 Browse Contribution of Tourism Case Studies:

Economic Contribution

Social and Environmental Value


Browse featured case studies:

Concepts of Tourism Yield and their Measurement

The primary aim of the report is to develop tools for measuring and enhancing the yield from tourism at the business, regional and national levels. This overall objective subsumes several more specific objectives: First, to clarify the different concepts of tourism yield. Second, to develop operational measures of yield at the level of the firm and at destination, regional, state and national levels. The final objective involves discussion and analysis of the policy implications of the study.

by Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth, Liz Fredline, Leo Jago, Marg Deery and Sven Lundie

Concepts of Tourism Yield and their Measurement: Executive Summary

The report develops tools for measuring and enhancing the yield from tourism at the business, regional and national level. It clarifies the different concepts of tourism yield. Different stakeholders (operators, governments, community, researchers etc.) mean different things by ‘yield’ and this presents a barrier to communication and policy discussion.

by Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth, Liz Fredline, Leo Jago, Marg Deery and Sven Lundie

Promoting Awareness of the Value of Tourism: a resource kit

This Resource Kit is designed to provide information and tools to assist  those working in the tourism industry, or seeking to develop tourism, to  successfully promote the economic, socio-cultural and environmental benefits  of tourism. Available on CD-ROM only.

by Ingrid Rosemann, Gary Prosser, Stephanie Hunt, Kate Benecke

Prosper Pilot Case Study: Woodburn

Underlying this pilot study is the recognition that the economic, social and environmental outcomes of regional tourism development are largely determined by important conditions, such as interrelationships and resources, within any region. This report presents the findings of a capacity for innovative regional tourism  development pilot case study conducted in the northern New South Wales community of Woodburn.

by Damien Jacobsen, Dean Carson, Jim Macbeth and Simon Rose

Prosper: An Evaluation of Tourism’s Contribution to Regional Economies

Prosper was established to develop context specific yet holistic models for assessing the value of tourism in regional destinations. The research has produced a range of immediately useful tools, including: a template for collecting and analysing indicators of the economic, social, and environmental value of tourism, a methodology for conducting Prosper research in a variety of regional settings, a research book documenting lessons learnt from the case studies, a template for delivering relevant Prosper indicators relating to employment, business activity, and development patterns through Decipher.

by Dean Carson, Jim Macbeth and Damien Jacobsen

Tourism within Communities: the flow of Visitor Expenditure through Economies and Industries
This is a summary document of our recently published Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs) for each state and territory, written for tourism managers and employees and explaining TSA terminology and systems in a simplified form. STCRC’s TSAs also provide a means for each of the states and territories to make comparisons between tourism and other industries and economic activities and to measure the contribution of tourism to the economy over time. This can assist in allocating tourism expenditure across a broad cross-section of tourism related areas such as transport, water infrastructure, hotel investment and built and natural attractions.