Survey to improve tourism data

Small accommodation businesses in the Mid-Western region have been given change to better track and compare their quarterly performances.

A Tourism Research Australia (TRA) initiative to begin in January 2013 will monitor revenue and occupancy trends of small-scale accommodation houses not covered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Launched earlier this month as the “Small-Scale Accommodation Survey”, the program is set to provide a more comprehensive overview of how the sector is fairing.

Hotels, motels and serviced apartments (up to 14 rooms), visitor hostels and caravan parks will all be included in data collection.

Federal minister for tourism, Martin Ferguson, said the survey will reduce a data collection burden on participants.

“Governments and businesses will be able to use survey results for policy, planning and investment purposes and the success of the survey will depend on accommodation providers’ participation in providing data,” he said.

Tourism Research Australia agrees.

“For the Small-Scale Accommodation Survey to realise its potential it is essential that a large number of operators in the target segment provide their data on a monthly basis. Wide and committed industry support to achieve this outcome will be critical,” the organisation said.

Through the Federal Government’s Tourism 2020 plan, the national tourism research body has contracted STR Global Limited (STR) to deliver the survey.

After data is uploaded each respondent will receive an electronic report that tracks individual performance and compares it to others in a comparison set. The comparison set is likely to be other accommodation providers in the same region.

The main dataset segmented by sector and tourism region will be provided to TRA by STR for release on the TRA website toward the end of each month.

It is hoped that data back to July 2010 will be entered into the system to facilitate time series comparison of performance.

TRA will run workshops with operator groups in the next month . A webpage is being developed.

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