Tourism satellite accounts

Updated: 20 December 2022

Next update: Not yet determined

Per cent drop in tourism consumption
Per cent drop in tourism consumption

About the statistics

The Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) measure the impact of tourism for the Norwegian economy from different angles. The TSA show how much is produced in typical tourism industries and of products that tourists spend a lot on. The TSA also show how much Norwegian and foreign tourists spend in Norway.

All the concepts regarding tourism are defined in the International recommendations for tourism statistics (UN and UNWTO, 2010) and the 2008 Tourism Satellite Accounts: Recommended Methodological Framework" (OECD, Eurostat, UNWTO and UN, 2008). Some of the key definitions are as follows:

Visitors are people travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment, for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes. Overnight visitors are called tourists. Same-day visitors will usually be treated as short-time tourists. In relation to TSA, the term tourist is therefore used instead of the term visitor. Travellers other than tourists may be people travelling to or from work, to visit friends or relatives who live in the same area, to do shopping etc. Some categories of travellers like refugees, migrants and seasonal workers are excluded from the tourist concept.

Tourism consumption is defined as the total consumption expenditures made by a visitor, or on behalf of a visitor, before and during his/her trip and stay at a destination. Total tourism consumption in the Norwegian TSA includes all non-residents’ expenditures in Norway and residents’ expenditures on journeys in Norway. To some extent, residents travelling abroad may increase the tourism expenditures in Norway and therefore contribute to increased income for the Norwegian economy. This is the case when for instance residents on their way to a foreign country travel by air with an aircraft operated by a Norwegian company or buy a package tour to a foreign country through a resident tour operator.

Products that are typical or principal products of the activities defined as tourist-related are classified as products characteristic for tourism industries tourism products in short).

Characteristic tourism industries are identified on the basis of their dependence on and/or importance for tourism. The industries defined as tourism industries in the Norwegian tourism satellite account and their link to the Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007) is given below.

Industries classified as tourism industries in the TSA

* Standard Industrial Classification 2007.

IndustryCode in SN2007*
Accommodation services55
Food and beverage service activities56
Rail transport49.1+49.2
Road transport49.3
Water transport50.1, 50.202, 50.203, 50.3, 50.4
Air transport51
Rental and leasing activities77
Travel agency and tour operator reservation services79
Cultural activities90 + 91
Sport and other recreation activities93

Tourism products are defined as goods and services that are characteristic for the tourism industries and that are in particular relevant in a tourism context, like hotel services and passenger transport services. The list of characteristic tourism products in the Norwegian National Accounts follows below.

Product codeProduct specification
491000Passenger rail transport services
493200Taxi operation services
493900Scheduled passenger land transport services
493930Non-scheduled passenger land transport services
501010Sea and coastal passenger water transport services
503010Inland passenger water transport services
511010Passenger air transport services
551000Hotel and similar accommodation services
553000Camping ground and chalet services
561010Restaurant services
561020Mobile food serving services
563000Beverage serving services
771100Rental and leasing services of cars and light motor vehicles
772000Rental and leasing services of recreational and sports goods
791100Travel agency services
791200Tour operator services
799000Other reservation services and related services
900100, 900102, 900103, 900104, 900105Creative, arts and entertainment services
900200Support services to performing arts
910000, 910202, 910203, 910204, 910205Library, archive, museum and other cultural services
931100Sports facility operation services
931900Other sporting services
932100Amusement park and theme park services
932900Other recreational services n.e.c.

See Concepts and definitions for definitions and explanations of concepts and variables used in the national accounts.

The most important classifications regarding the TSA are pointed out in the TSA manual (OECD, Eurostat, UNWTO and UN, 2008). It also includes lists of characteristic tourism products and characteristic tourism industries.

The standards for the grouping of industries, products, consumption and gross fixed capital formation are the same as for the national accounts. See " About the statistics " for the annual national accounts.

Name: Tourism satellite accounts

Topic: National accounts and business cycle

Not yet determined

Division for National Accounts

National level

Parts of the Tourism satellite accounts (TSA) are published on a region level for some years. Regional figures for output, value added and employment in the tourism industries are then published. For the years 2007 and 1997 tourism consumption was also computed and disseminated by region.

Annual. Normally in year t, with final figures for the year t-3 and updated preliminary figures for the years t-2.

Eurostat, OECD and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Not relevant

The national accounts (NA) statistics are designed to provide a consistent and comprehensive survey of the overall national economy. However, within the standardised concepts and classification standards in the national accounts, there are some economic transactions that cannot easily be recognised. This is the case for transactions related to tourism. A Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) is an account based on, and consistent with, the national accounts, which have been especially established for the purpose of throwing light on transactions related to tourism.

The economic effect related to people travelling cannot be analysed by studying one single industry or one single group of goods and services. The increased use of goods and services generated by the fact that people travel for the purpose of leisure, business or other purposes is directed at a broad range of goods and services. Measuring the economic effect related to tourism, what should be included? This question has been discussed over a long period of time, both nationally and internationally. Some studies on impacts of tourism have been restricted to measuring effects for hotels and other accommodation establishments, while other studies have included almost all kinds of effects, including significant parts of households' consumption of automobiles and gross fixed capital formation in industries supplying tourism industries with goods and services.

Ideas and plans at an international level related to the development of an international framework for a TSA, started in the 1980s. In 1991, OECD published a manual for an economic account for tourism (TEA), based on national accounts (OECD, 1991). The recommended setting up of the accounts in this manual did not give a complete harmonised TSA consistent with the national accounts, but the TEA was a solid stepping-stone for later work with an international framework for a TSA. In 1993, the United Nations Statistical Commission (UN) adapted recommendations regarding definitions of tourism and tourism statistics (UN and World Tourism Organization - UNWTO, 1993). Thereafter the OECD and UNWTO worked in parallel to establish an international framework for a TSA, based on the updated international framework for national accounts in the SNA93. UNWTO published the final version of a manual for a TSA in 1999 (UNWTO, 1999), while OECD published their version immediately afterwards (OECD, 2000). However, the member countries in these organisations demanded a common manual, and in 2001, the international organisations UNWTO, OECD, EU and UN published a common international manual: ' Tourism Satellite Accounts: Recommended Methodological Framework' (OECD; EU, UNWTO and UN, 2001).

The starting point of this manual is that the economic effect of tourism must be related to the increased demand of goods and services created by tourism. The manual defines what kind of travel should be recorded as tourism, defines limits for what kind of demand should be recorded as tourism consumption and/or tourism demand, and how the economic effects of tourism should be measured and presented.

When the work related to establishing a TSA for Norway started, it was only the version of the OECD manual for a TEA that was available, in addition to the international definitions regarding tourism and recommendations for tourism statistics in UN and UNWTO (1993) . Norway implemented the new international guidelines SNA93 in the Norwegian national accounts very early in relation to most other countries, and had the revised national accounts adapted to the SNA93 guidelines as a basis for the work related to establishing a TSA for Norway. In addition, Norway contributed actively in the international work to establish an international framework for a TSA. The Norwegian TSA is therefore, aligned with the later adopted international manuals for a TSA.

Figures from the Norwegian TSA are used by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and other public and private bodies, as well as individuals analysing economic structures or the development of tourism.

Since the Norwegian TSA is based on international recommendations and guidelines, it is also possible to do make comparisons between countries. The Norwegian TSA figures are also used by international organisations like the EU, OECD and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and may also be of interest to tourist authorities etc. in other countries.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 08.00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

The TSA is an integrated part of the annual national accounts , and published TSA figures are therefore consistent with national accounts figures. Further, the TSA figures are also consistent with other accounts which are consistent with the national accounts: the quarterly national accounts (QNA), the Norwegian Balance of Payments (BoP), the institutional sector accounts and other established satellite accounts (health, environment, regional accounts ).

When comparing figures from the TSA (for example figures for tourism industries) with other parts of the economy as given in the ordinary national accounts (for example other industries), it is important to remember that tourism-related figures are integrated in the ordinary classifications in the national accounts.

Not relevant

Not relevant

The scope of the national accounts is defined by the international guidelines The System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) and The European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA2010). The national accounts consist of two main sets of tables; the supply and use tables (SUT), also described as the real accounts, and the institutional sector accounts. The real accounts are based on local kind-of-activity units, while the institutional sector accounts are based on institutional units. The TSA is based on the annual SUT (the real accounts). See also " about the statistics " for the annual national accounts for further information.

Definitions regarding tourism are given in the International recommendations for tourism statistics 2008 by the UN and UNWTO (2010) . The structures for the TSA, including concepts regarding tourism supply and demand, are given in the 2008 Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework (TSA: RMF 2008) (OECD; Eurostat, UNWTO and UN, 2008).

The demand side comprises figures for internal tourism consumption expenditures in Norway, i.e. both domestic tourism consumption (by residents in Norway) and inbound tourism (by non-residents in Norway). The consumption expenditures are divided into expenditures for different goods and services. We further distinguish between tourism consumption by resident households, consumption expenditures by non-residents and resident industries' outlays due to business travel.

Tourism consumption by resident households, is a part of the households' total consumption expenditures, while non-residents' expenditures in Norway form a part of Norway's export revenues. Expenditures on business travel by resident industries are a part of the industries' intermediate consumption. Households' consumption and export contribute directly to the gross domestic product (GDP), while intermediate consumption is subtracted from the output when calculating the value of various industries, and subsequently the GDP.

The supply side in the Norwegian TSA shows the supply of different characteristic tourism products, as well as output, value added, gross fixed capital formation and employment in characteristic tourism industries. The identification of characteristic tourism industries and characteristic tourism products, respectively, follows international standards.

The calculation of the annual national accounts is based on statistics from several different sources, such as the Structural Business Statistics for manufacturing and other industries, accounting statistics for general government and enterprises, statistics for wages and earnings, external trade statistics, household consumer surveys and labour statistics. Since the TSA is structured as a satellite to the national accounts, this means that the calculation of TSA figures is based on all the information used to establish the national accounts figures. The TSA is also, with its connection to the annual national accounts, a part of a system that secures a balance between the supply and use of all detailed products and for the total economy.

All figures for tourism are included in the ordinary national accounts figures; however the figures are not presented in such a way that they can shed light on tourism. For some parts of the economy it is necessary to break down the national accounts figures into more detailed specifications. To do these calculations all kinds of available data sources are used, as well as some sources that are not used in the ordinary national accounts. For example, surveys of tourists' expenditures are used as a main source to calculate tourism consumption.

Some parts of the national accounts are constructed more or less directly from other statistics, while other parts are based on calculations and estimates. This is also the case with the figures in the TSA.

Likewise, preliminary TSA figures are based on quarterly national figures. More detailed calculations are essentially based on the same sources that are used to establish the QNA figures, but generally the TSA calculations make use of more detailed information in the statistical sources.

The TSA are mainly based on statistics collected by other divisions in Statistics Norway. To some extent, data produced by external suppliers are used.

The source data are critically evaluated and compared with alternative sources where available. In some areas, the statistics have to be adjusted in order to meet the requirements of the national accounts and the TSA. In areas where the statistics are incomplete, assessments are essential. In the process of estimating national accounts data, as well as TSA figures, estimated figures are critically evaluated and controlled in several steps.

The process of estimating data in the national accounts and the TSA starts with the calculation of supply and demand estimates for all goods and services at current prices separately. To some extent, source data are extracted directly from the databases and converted into national accounts codes and format. Other parts of the economy are based on more complex calculations, based on different statistical sources and/or assessments. Finally, supply and demand for each of these goods and services are balanced in the system by using supplementary information and quality assessments from various sources. The TSA figures are then established by extracting data from the national accounts and further split into tourism relevant categories. Finally, the TSA figures, including figures for the rest of the economy, are presented in a way that is suitable for analysing tourism.

As for the annual and quarterly national accounts, the TSA figures are calculated and disseminated in both current and constant prices.

Not relevant

The Statistics Act states that data under no circumstances shall be disseminated in such a way that it may be traced back to the supplier. This means that the general rule is not to publish data if there are fewer than three enterprises in an industry. In cases with less than three enterprises in an industry group, data is confidential and aggregated up to a more aggregated industry group before dissemination.

One of the main objectives of the TSA is to obtain comparable figures from year to year and between different countries. The Norwegian TSA is therefore principally comparable with TSA for other countries based on the same recommendations and definitions.

There has been several revisions of the national accounts since the Norwegian TSA was first published for the years 1998-2001. This has lead to breaks in the TSA time series.

Further, the international recommendations for TSA were altered in 2008. These changes were incorporated simultaneously as the main revision 2011 for the national accounts.

For 2007 and 2011 revised versions were made to allow for comparison before and after the main revisions 2011 and 2014 respectively.

Following the 2019 main revison, where the numbers for employment, output and value added were revised, and the 2022 mid revision, where the numbers for value added were affected as well as several tourism shares of the overall economy, 2011 was kept as bridge year and the time series from 2011 to 2020 were updated.

The national accounts and the TSA are based on various statistical sources. The sources are either survey data from establishments, enterprises or households, or data from registers. The TSA figures reflect the uncertainty in the statistical sources and the methods of compilation. Weaknesses and inaccuracies in the statistical sources are normally described in the documentation of the relevant sources. Several of the sources that are used in the national accounts take a long time to produce. Consequently, preliminary figures are more inaccurate than final figures.

Since the TSA, as an incorporated part of the national accounts, is an integrated system with balancing methods and consistency checks, the national accounts may reduce some of the inaccuracies in the statistical sources. On the other hand, TSA and national accounts require the compilation of statistics in areas where the sources are unsatisfactory, and the inaccuracy in such areas may therefore be significant. Some of the figures in the TSA and the national accounts are estimated as residuals, and the uncertainty may be substantial in these areas.

Since the TSA figures are based on national accounts data, the preliminary TSA figures will be revised annually after an up-to-date revision of the preliminary national accounts data (until final figures are established).

The series with final national accounts figures are revised frequently in order to incorporate new international definitions or standards in the accounts, and/or to incorporate new statistics for parts of the economy that would eventually give significant changes in the level. International recommendations for national accounts recommend such main revisions every 5 years. Main revisions of the national accounts generate a need for a corresponding revision of the TSA figures to make sure that the national accounts figures and the TSA figures are still consistent.

Updates of the international guidelines for satellite tourism accounts do also take place. Normally, already published final figures are not revised. This was exceptionally done for the reference year 2007 as part of the national accounts' main revision 2011, where UNs Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 also was incorporated.