26 Aug 2020

New tourism data programme to help track recovery of sector

4:56 pm on 26 August 2020

The government has unveiled a new tourism data programme after Stats NZ scrapped its accommodation survey late last year.

A woman backpacker stands next to her luggage and a window in a hotel room.

Photo: 123RF

The Accommodation Data Programme provides the monthly estimates on regional guest nights, occupancy and other measures, and includes more timely data for hotels, motels, apartments, backpackers, holiday parks and other short term accommodation.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released the first results today - just over a year after Stats NZ announced it was cutting its survey.

In July, there were 2.5 million guest nights in core tourism accommodation around the country with an occupancy rate of 42 percent.

The Ministry's Business and Economic Development acting manager, Michael Webster, said the dataset would support insight and planning in the industry.

"Around 11 percent of core tourism accommodation properties were closed or had no guests, and this is due to a combination of seasonal closures and the effects of Covid-19," he said.

"Backpackers were the most affected, with around 20 percent of businesses closed.

"Going forward we'll be able to track the recovery of various parts of the accommodation sector."

The launch has been welcomed by the tourism industry.

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Julie White said it was pleasing to see a refreshed approach to the previous report.

"The data provides key insights from performance for operators and potential investors, the value of the sector through to workforce planning," she said.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said the new estimates filled a major gap in accommodation and regional insights.

"As this new data series builds over time it will become increasingly useful," he said.

The programme is run by tourism data specialists, Fresh Information Limited, after the company went through a joint industry and government procurement process last November.

It is a voluntary programme that operators can sign up to by following instructions on the Fresh Info website.

Roberts thanked the operators who were already providing data and encouraged more to do the same.

"If you are not contributing yet, it would be great if you get on board. The more accommodation businesses providing data, the stronger this survey will be."

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