Cheaper accommodation survey sought

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has put out feelers for a supplier of local accommodation data at a reasonable price, a week after Statistics New Zealand said it couldn’t afford to keep doing the existing survey.

The ministry issued a request for information this week, seeking a more comprehensive version of the monthly accommodation survey produced by Stats NZ.

MBIE also wants to capture the likes of Airbnb and freedom campers, where the visitors are from and how much they spend on the accommodation.

High-level outlines are due by Wednesday next week.

‘‘The accommodation survey is planned to be discontinued in September 2019, largely due to unsustainable production costs,’’ the pre-tender document said.

‘‘We are looking for alternative sources of information that could be used to replace or improve upon the data currently produced by the survey for a reasonable cost.’’

Depending on the responses, it might issue further tender documents, or work with existing suppliers, MBIE said.

Last week, Stats NZ said it would stop publishing monthly accommodation surveys after the September report was released in November, because it and MBIE agreed the cost of producing them was unsustainable.

The statistics agency had assumed it would pursue full cost recovery for its third-party surveys, and would consider dropping the reports to focus on other areas of higher priority.

Tourism lobby groups were unhappy with the decision to drop the accommodation survey, describing it as the only information on the volume of both domestic and international visitors around the country.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa noted Stats NZ and MBIE had started work for a replacement survey, but the outcome was at least a year away.

- BusinessDesk

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