STR Global announced the development of the Small Scale Accommodation Survey, in partnership with Tourism Research Australia (TRA), to fill the research gap on the state and trends of small hotels, motels and caravan parks across Australia.
The new survey will monitor revenue and occupancy trends for smaller accommodation businesses operating in the tourism industry. It will supplement the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) quarterly survey of tourist accommodation, which measures activity in short-term commercial accommodation in Australia with 15 rooms or more.
The Small Scale Accommodation Survey will target approximately 6,000 hotels, motels, serviced apartments and guest houses with five to 14 rooms, as well as visitor hostels and short_stay caravan parks.
The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the new survey would be an important tool in filling the data gaps in existing accommodation surveys.
"This survey will be developed to collect essential data about smaller short-term accommodation businesses in an efficient way that reduces the burden on participants", Minister Ferguson said.
"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".
"This survey represents another achievement under the Tourism 2020 Strategy with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments working together to contribute to the cost of this new survey".
STR Global will develop the Web-based survey, collecting supply, demand and revenue data that will be published by Tourism Research Australia.
"STR Global is delighted to be the chosen partner for Tourism Research Australia and providing them with our benchmarking services and expertise, which we already share with more than 900 hotels across Australia", commented Elizabeth Randall Winkle, managing director of STR Global. "Collecting data on these segments of the accommodation industry will bring better transparency to the operators, investors and policymakers alike, and will aid in setting strategies for the sector".
"A large number of small businesses in the accommodation sector collectively reflect the state of the economy in their respective regions. Therefore, it is important to understand how they are tracking", said Richard Munro, CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia.
"Often these businesses are self-employed, owner-operated establishments that lack access to the professional skills and data that can help them to improve returns. This new survey will ensure that confidential and timely information about performance will be available to them. The Government undertook a consultative process about statistical data that the Accommodation Association actively participated in, and, consequently, our industry is pleased with the outcome".
Munro commented the survey also could assist with lifting standards in small accommodation businesses in Australia. "The government may wish to consider making it compulsory for operators of accommodation businesses who wish to be accredited to provide data for use in accommodation surveys", he said.
Comparison reports will be provided to respondents as an incentive to participate, which indicate how their business is performing compared to similar accommodation providers.
The first tranche of data is expected to be published in January 2013. The survey may be continued in future years provided that accommodation providers are able to supply the necessary data.
TRA and STR Global will hold information sessions for stakeholders in coming weeks.
Further information on the survey and information sessions will be available at www.ret.gov.au.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.