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Measuring the economic impact of tourism: the case of Lower and Upper Austria

Egon Smeral (Modul University, Vienna, Austria)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 16 November 2015




This study aims to demonstrate that the information content of a regional tourism satellite account (RTSA) is a very complex phenomenon and the complete impact of tourism is difficult to capture.


The study is based on the recommended framework for tourism satellite account-building and is concentrated on Lower and Upper Austria, two of the nine Austrian federal states. The RTSA provides an analytical framework of issues related to tourism economics and tourism policy as well as for model building, tourism growth analysis and productivity measurement.


Considering only direct effects, calculations showed that tourism made around 3 1/2 per cent of the Upper Austrian gross regional product. In case of Lower Austria, the relevant figure was around 1 percentage lower. Considering the direct and indirect effects, tourism contributed almost 6 per cent to the overall gross regional product of Upper Austria, and in Lower Austria, tourism contributed around 5 per cent to the overall gross regional product.


This paper is one of the first papers about considering (beside the direct effects) also the indirect effects of tourism and pointing out the true economic impact of tourism on the whole economy on a regional level.



Smeral, E. (2015), "Measuring the economic impact of tourism: the case of Lower and Upper Austria", Tourism Review, Vol. 70 No. 4, pp. 289-297.



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