A Satellite Account is a term developed by the United Nations to measure the size of economic sector that are not defined as industries in national accounts. The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a tool available to policymakers in many countries to document the direct Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment contributions of tourism to national economies, as tourism is an amalgam of industries such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment and travel agencies.
Tourism is a unique phenomenon as it is defined by the consumer or the visitor. Visitors buy goods and services both tourism and non-tourism alike. The key from a measuring standpoint is associating their purchases to the total supply of these goods and services within a country.
The TSA is a statistical instrument designed to measure these goods and services according to international standards of concepts, classifications and definitions which will allow for valid comparisons with other industries and eventually from country to country and between groups of countries.