Steam Model
Tourism Economic Impact

Externally validated
Statistically comprehensive
Timely and dependable reporting

STEAM model

STEAM is a tourism economic impact modelling process which approaches the measurement of tourism from the bottom up, through its use of local supply side data and tourism performance and visitor survey data collection.  The STEAM process is designed to engage the client and maximise the benefit of local tourism expertise.  STEAM is capable of delivering robust outputs at a variety of geographical levels and, as such, has been adopted for use throughout the United Kingdom and overseas by tourist boards, local authorities, regional development agencies, national park authorities, and many other public and private sector organisations.

The STEAM process is essentially a structured framework with the capacity to accept a wide range of tourism input data.  All of these inputs can be adjusted monthly, to reflect seasonal variations in supply and demand or to reflect specific reporting requirements.

STEAM quantifies the local economic impact of tourism, from both staying and day visitors, through analysis and use of a variety of inputs including visitor attraction numbers, tourist accommodation bedstock,  events attendance, occupancy levels, accommodation tariffs, macro-economic factors, visitor expenditure levels, transport use levels and tourism-specific economic multipliers. Throughout the year, we continuously review STEAM input data and consider, for each reporting area, the robustness of the inputs.  This review process ensures that any identified weaknesses in data flow can be addressed.

STEAM uses the above input data to generate a series of impact analyses, relating to four key visitor types:

  • Staying in Serviced Accommodation
  • Staying in Non-Serviced Accommodation
  • Staying with Friends and Relatives (SFR)
  • Tourist Day Visitors

Within the model, the above visitor types are broken down further into sub-categories of accommodation use and, where required, sub-types of day or SFR visitor.  This allows the model to ensure that its outputs reflect the differences in supply and consumption of tourism services between different types of tourism business.  It carries a further benefit in that the outputs relating to specific sub-categories of visitor can be presented in isolation, excluded or combined to reflect specific reporting needs.

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