Definition: Tourism expenditure

Category: Tourism

Tourism expenditure is defined as "the total consumption expenditure made by a visitor, or on behalf of a visitor, for and during his/her trip and stay at destination".

This concept encompasses a wide variety of items, ranging from the purchase of consumer goods and services inherent in travel and stays to the purchase of small durable goods for personal use, souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. Tourism expenditure is not restricted to payments made during the visit. It also includes advance outlays necessary for the preparation and undertaking of the trip and travel-related purchases made in the place of residence after returning from a trip. These categories refer to payments for travel insurance, transport, the purchase of travel guides, etc.

There are certain types of outlays or acquisitions which are to be excluded from tourism expenditure. These are purchases for commercial purposes, capital-type investments or transactions (e.g., real estate, cars, boats, etc.), even if they may in the future be used for tourism purposes, and cash or donations made to private persons or institutions which do not represent payment for tourism goods or services.

Total tourism expenditure can be broken down from different perspectives:
- Domestic and international tourism expenditure;
- Within international expenditure, between transport fares and other types of expenditure;
- Expenditures on same-day visits and overnight stays;
- The products to which the expenditures relates.
Eurostat and Directorate-General XXIII of the European Commission, "Community methodology on tourism statistics", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1998, p. 38