Scrapping ABS survey a major set-back for hotel investment

The announcement by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that they would be scrapping the Survey of Tourist Accommodation will be a major set-back for the hospitality sector, says Tourism Accommodation Australia managing director Rodger Powell.

The ABS announced the cessation of the Survey as a result of cuts to their funding, which they estimate as $50 million over the next three years.

Mr Powell said that effective intelligence on a national basis was crucial if the industry was to properly plan for future development and meet the needs of the economy. “Investments in developing hotels and other tourism accommodation generally involve significant amounts of money, and if we are to continue attracting foreign investment into hotel and tourism infrastructure development in Australia, we require the most up to date and thorough statistics,” said Mr Powell.

“We will be calling on the ABS and the government to reassess this decision, as the value of this survey far outweighs the cost of producing it.”

Tourism & Transport Forum executive director Adele Labine-Romain said that without this data, Australia’s tourism goals come under serious threat.

“Australia has an ambitious goal to double overnight expenditure by 2020 and the availability of regular, reliable data is needed to underpin investment and planning to aid the industry,” said Ms Labine-Romain

“Small area data provides essential information about tourism performance in regional areas and helps inform both public and private planning. Government must continue to fund tourism and research to help the industry realise its potential.”

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