The Tourism Satellite Account: What's the Use?
Calvin Jones
Cardiff Business School/ESRC BRASS Centre, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

UN WTO and partners have long suggested the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) as the appropriate measurement tool to assess the economic significance of tourism in a reference national economy. Latterly, TSA structures have been adopted in selected regions. The TSA project has been a notable statistical success, with numerous countries compiling TSAs, and with their headline results useful for tourism advocacy. This, however, has been typically the full extent of TSA use and comprises a moderate return on substantial resource investment.

Following the above, this paper presents the case of the TSA for Wales, a region of the UK. It focusses not on TSA compilation, but on the development of 'value added' tools and structures that the TSA enables. These have included the linking of tourism economic activity to the physical environment, including for the first time estimates of how far tourism leads to post-industrial waste arisings; water use and global greenhouse gas emissions. Other benefits of TSA development include the construction of an Input-Output based Tourism Impact Model for Wales, which is currently being used to assess the economic impact of £120m of EU ERDF spending, as well as the impact of specific development policies.

The paper investigates the data, statistical-structural and political issues in developing TSAs into more policy useful frameworks, and reflects on how for the TSA is fit for policy purpose.

Keywords: Tourism; Tourism satellite account; Climate change; Modelling

Biography: Dr Calvin Jones is a Reader in Economics in Cardiff Business School. He holds a PhD in the Economics of Tourism and Sport, and more latterly has been interested in how such non-traditional activities impact on the physical environment, and on the links between energy and economic development.