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Government U-turn will help lodging industry

December 22, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Australia will once again start collecting and collating vital statistics on accommodation, following a bizarre decision by the country’s national statistical agency in 2014 to stop the collection, a move described by the hotel and lodging industry at the time as like “driving a car without a fuel gauge”.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, confirmed yesterday that  the federal government had decided to continue providing a national accommodation survey through the Australian Accommodation Monitor (AAM), a new arrangement with global data analytics provider STR.

“The AAM will collect detailed information on occupancy rates and business takings, following similar principles to the previous Survey of Tourist Accommodation, and will include participation from hotels, motels and serviced apartments across metropolitan and regional Australia,” Ciobo said.

STR will undertake year-round engagement with accommodation providers and hotel associations to collate the data and ensure accurate reporting.

To ensure the data is useful for industry to provide year-on-year analysis, STR will generate data for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. Importantly, the AAM will also measure the supply of accommodation in Australia and monitor progress against the Tourism 2020 targets.

STR has a strong global presence, having previously provided services for VisitBritain, and an impressive track-record in measuring accommodation activity in Australia. Results from the AAM for the 2016–17 financial year will be published in July 2018, with subsequent results published each October.

National and state information from the AAM will be available on

An earlier decision by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2014, to stop collecting tourism accommodation statistics, perplexed Australia’s hotel and lodging industry.

The ABS had carried out this role for decades and its statistics were widely used as a vital tool in measuring industry performance on a regular basis.

At the time, The Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro described the ABS decision as “an extremely disappointing outcome for the accommodation industry.

“The ABS statistics are a vital tool for operators, investors and potential investors in Australia’s accommodation industry. If you can’t measure industry performance on a regular basis, then our industry can’t manage it.

“To not have a comprehensive set of accurate performance data for such a large component of the tourism industry is akin to driving a car without a fuel gauge.”

The car is now back on the road and the data is flowing again.

Written by Peter Needham

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