Abstract: In contrast with developing countries, where the study of circulation occupies a central position, the literature on temporary mobility in the developed world is sparse and unsystematic. This paper examines reasons for this fragmentation and endeavours to situate tourism within the wider context of temporary and permanent population movements. It is suggested that temporary moves have three distinctive dimensions - duration, frequency and seasonality - which present a formidable methodological challenge. Despite this, it is argued that both forms of movement can be usefully classified under production-related and consumption-related headings. Against this framework we explore similarities and differences in the intensity, composition and spatial patterns of temporary and permanent moves using data from the Australian population Census. The findings point to processes of complementarity and substitution which underline the interconnectedness of different forms of mobility at the individual and aggregate levels across space and through time.