Assessing tourism impact of Aviation


In no more than 400 words,  briefly  answer the following  questions:

Describe how one might consider using the IO approach to estimate the tourism
impact of an ‘open -sky’ between two nations. What are the limitations of  the IO
approach in assessing the economic impact? Discuss the use of CGE and its
advantages in this context.  Is the application of the CGE approach warranted in all

The following reference may assist with this exercise. The  first  article looks at the
economic impact of air transport liberalisation in Hamburg, while the second article
looks at Australia.  Don’t forget to the consult Readings 1 – 3  of  this Unit.

Gillen, D. and Hinsch, H. (2001) Measuring the econo mic impact of liberalisation of
international aviation on Hamburg airport, Journal of Air Transport Management 7,
p.25 -34

Forsyth, P. (2006) Martin Kunz Memorial Lecture. Tourism benefits and aviation
policy,  Journal of Air Transport Management 12, p.3 -13

Unit Structure

This unit considers the economic  impact of aviation and tourism (Unit 9 focuses on
the valuation of the environmental impact of aviation and tourism).  In particular,
to urism is considered as a key channel through which air transport contributes to  the
economy, as well as the general well -being of our society .  Specifically, by end of this
Unit, students should be:

•  Familiar with  the key channels through which air transport contributes to the
•  Understand direct, indirect, induced,  catalytic and multiplier  effects  of air
•  Appreciate the different approaches in  modeling these effects, and the
approaches’ advantages and limitations
•  Appreciate the releva nce of the choice of methodologies in the understanding
of aviation’s economic impact, in particular with respect to tourism

This    Unit    introduces    advanced    concepts    such    as    Computable    General
Equilibrium    (CGE)    models.    While    you    are    not    expected    to    fully    gr asp    the
technical    details    of    this    approach,    it    is    important    to    be    informed    of    the    various
modeling    approaches    used    in    tourism    and    transport    policy    arena.    Also,    it    is
important    to    be    able    to    know    where    to    find    more    information    about    these
methods    (and    thence    the    interpretations    of    the    results)    when    called    upon.    This
Unit    can    be    an    important    starting    point.

Air transport and the economy

One of the key ways through which transport influences the economy is trade.
Reduction in transport cost paves way for specialisation in the production of services
and goods with comparative advantage. Tourism is a  form of trade. Unlike other
traded products, however, tourism involves consumers traveling to the place of
‘production’. In systems of national accounts, for instance, inbound tourism is
considered  as an export sector.  Low air travel costs stimulates tourism trade, which is
a significant generator of income and employment in many economies.

The effect of transport can be compounding over time. The effects of transport
improvements such as through  infrastructure  investments can be both temporary and

–  Temporary effects: during the construction phase
–  Permanent effects: maintenance and operations, effects on productivity,
effects on location of activities, trade

Moreover, o ver time, “improvement of transport infrastructure not only leads to larger
trade flows … also to a more transport intensive way of organization of production
and distribution having distinct effects on the spatial distribution of pr oduction and
distribution of activities” (Rietveld and Bruinsma 1998: 62).

In international air transport and aeropolitical context, Raguraman (1997) aptly
summarised  the  (economic)  benefit of air transport, stating,

implementation of new or additional services may have an effect, in the presence of
other complementary factors, of stimulating new investment in the city where the
carrier is flying to. Such new services also contribute to an increase in consumer
welfare in the sense that greater choice is afforded to travelers in that country and net
savings in waiting time result from additional flights. There is also scope for
increased trade in the sense that opportunities for export are presented for local
companies using airfreight services (Raguraman 1995) … The most significant
benefits, however, are apparent in the impacts of air services on the air transport and
tourism sector (Raguraman 1997:660).

Defining the net expenditure can be  challenging, and it is impor tant  for the
appropriate appraisal of economic benefits and costs of air services. As argued by

In bilateral negotiations, it is often observed that the most keenly contested issue
relates to capacity provisions on passenger traffic (O’Connor 1971).   Given that the
primary concern in bilateral agreements is the volume of passenger traffic, it is
argued here that a correct appraisal of the net economic benefits of air service should
weigh the injection of expenditures by visitors and the foreign carrier into the local
economy against the leakages of expenditures of local travelers out of the country on
that foreign carrier’s services. Such an exercise may in fact show that even if the local
carriers are unable to mount reciprocal services, it actually may be beneficial to allow
foreign carriers to do so if the demand for such services exists on the negotiated
routes. (Raguraman 1997: 660 – 661)

At this point it is important to make a distinction between injection of  expenditures
and economic impact . Consider the following story from Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) (n ote: in the coming weeks we will be using multimedia,
including videos):

Multimedia 1. This is available from the RMIT TV database (via UNSW Library).

Accessing this video clip can be done in three steps (these files are ~ 40mb):
(1)  go to UNSW Library Catalogue, then search for “ TVnews”.
(2)  Access  online link.
(3)  Once in the database search engine, search for the following video “ Flying
High: The Far North Queensland economy is improving with the resumption
of direct flights between Japan and Cairns next year ”

The story tells of the potential tourism benefits from the new air services by Jetstar
International between Cairns and Japan. It is expected that ea ch Japanese visitor will
inject $2,000 per trip. The figure can be calculated based on surveys, such as through
the type of data introduced in Unit 1.  While a measure of monetary value, expenditure
does not provide a complete account of the economic impact. Economic impact can
be substantially less or more than that suggested by expenditure figures alone.

To economic impact we now turn.

Reading 1 is  International Civil Aviation Organisation (2005)  The Economic
Contribution of Civil Aviation, Volume 1, Circular 292 -AT/124. Although the
entire document is very informative (albeit slightly out -of -date), if you are
pressing for time, the key pages are 2-1 to 2-9. The best way to find this
document is to search for “ The Economic Contribution of Civil Aviation ,
Volume 1, Circular 292-AT/124” in a  searchengine.

The e conomic impact of aviation is decomposed into four effects.

•  Direct economic co ntributions (or direct effect) are  expenditures made  by
aviation industries for the provision of air trav el and freight services.
•  Indirect effects are  transactions between direct suppliers  and other suppliers in
the supply-chain
•  Induced effects occur when the profits and extra income earned by households
and producers from the direct and indirect effects are  re -spent, and thence re -injected into the economy, as consumers.
•  Catalytic effect is generated by the off-airport expenditures of air transport
users such as by tourists in destinations.

From Reading 1, consider the following questions:

•  What is a multiplier?
•  How are the direct, indirect and induced effects different from tourist
•  Provide examples of direct, indirect, induced and catalytic effects of Jetstar
International services to Cairns

Tourist  expenditures will have successive rounds of direct, indirect and induced
effects. As mentioned earlier, tourism benefits are probably the most significant
source of benefit  arising from air services. The following section looks at the
economic impact of tourism.

•  What is the purpose of economic impact analysis?
•  Why are saving, taxes and imports regarded as leakages?
•  What are the relations between tourism multipliers and leakages?
•  Describe type 1 and type 2 multipliers.

Traditionally, economic impact  was estimated using an i nput -output table. These are
discussed in p.288-298 of Chapter 8. In addition  to Dwyer et. al. (2011), below is a
simplified illustration of how input -output matrix is used to compute the economic
impact of an initial injection of expenditure (say, by a to urist). The illustration is
largely drawn from  Bull, A. (1991).

Essential Readings

Reading 1 is International Civil Aviation Organisation (2005)  The Economic
Contribution of Civil Aviation, Volume 1, Circular 292 -AT/124. Relevant pages are
2-1 to 2-9. The document can be found:

Reading 2 is Chapter 8 of Dwyer, L., Forsyth, P., Dwyer, W. (2011)  Tourism
Economics and Policy , Channel View Publications (this is available  online via the
library website) .

Reading 3 is Chapter 9 in Dwyer et. al. (2011)  Tourism Economics and Policy,
Channel view publications  (this is available  online via the library website).


Additional references (journal articles are available  online  via UNSW library website)

Bull, A. (1991) The Economics of Travel and Tourism, Longman

Forsyth, P. (2006) Martin Kunz Memorial Lecture. Tourism benefits and aviation
policy,  Journal of Air Transport Management 12, p.3 -13

Gillen, D. and Hinsch, H. (2001) Measuring the economic impact of liberalisation of
international aviation on Hamburg airport, Journal of Air Transport Management 7,
p.25 -34

Raguraman, K. (1997) Estimating the net economic impact of air services,  Annals of
Tourism Research 24(3): 658-674.


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