8635.0 - Tourist Accommodation, Australia, Jun 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2003   
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This publication presents data from the quarterly Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA). The STA is a mailout collection that completely enumerates all in-scope accommodation establishments within Australia.


On a quarterly basis the STA includes hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments with 15 or more rooms or units.

For 2003 the scope of the STA has been expanded to include:

  • holiday flats, units and houses of letting entities with 15 or more rooms or units
  • caravan parks with 40 or more powered sites
  • visitor hostels with 25 or more bed spaces.

Short-term non-residential accommodation, which is in scope of the STA, is accommodation which is not leased, and which is provided to guests who would generally stay for periods of less than two months.

Some establishments also provide long-term residential accommodation. For hotels, motels, guest houses and serviced apartments, the amount of such activity is considered to be insignificant and is included in the data presented in this publication.


For 2003 the STA includes the following categories of establishments which provide predominantly short-term non-residential accommodation to the general public:
  • hotels and resorts with facilities - establishments with 15 or more rooms which are licensed to operate a public bar and which provide accommodation on a room/suite basis, with a bath/shower and toilet in most guest rooms, but which do not have full cooking facilities (i.e. hot plates and oven/microwave) in most guest rooms
  • motels, private hotels and guest houses with facilities - establishments with 15 or more rooms which are not licensed to operate a public bar, and which provide accommodation on a room/suite basis, with a bath/shower and toilet in most guest rooms, but which do not have full cooking facilities (i.e. hot plates and oven/microwave) in most guest rooms
  • serviced apartments - establishments with 15 or more units which mostly comprise self-contained units at the same location, and which are available on a unit/apartment basis to the general public for a minimum of one night. The units should have full cooking facilities (i.e. hot plates and oven/microwave), refrigerator and bath/shower and toilet facilities; all bed linen and towels should be provided, and daily servicing (i.e. cleaning and bed making) must be available through the on-site management, although this service may not necessarily be used
  • holiday flats, units and houses - (excluding establishments predominantly operated on a time-share basis) which are operated by owners, managers or real estate agents who have sole letting rights to at least 15 flats, units or houses for short-term letting. These flats, units or houses should be mainly self-contained in terms of cooking, bath (or shower) and toilet facilities and should not have breakfast available for guests. Data for holiday flats units or houses include short-term owner operators as well as paying guest occupation
  • caravan parks - establishments with 40 or more powered sites and cabins which provide either short-term or long-term accommodation to the general public and which provide powered sites for caravans and toilet, shower and laundry facilities for guests
  • visitor hostels - establishments with 25 or more bed spaces which provide accommodation to visitors on a bed basis (rather than by room). This category does not include establishments providing charity type accommodation (e.g. Salvation Army hostels) nor hotels, motels and guest houses without in-room facilities which provide accommodation on a per room basis.


The ABS has collected data for holiday flats, units and houses, caravan parks and visitor hostels for the June and September quarters 2003. These data will be released along with September and December quarters 2003 after December 2003 data has been collected and processed.

The main source of coverage is from the Australian Automobile Association through AAA Tourism. This is supplemented by notification of new tourism developments and their likely opening dates in selected guides, major tourism journals and periodicals and newspapers. Periodic comparison with lists of accommodation establishments provided by the various tourism commissions and industry associations is also undertaken.


The survey does not have a sample component and the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
  • errors in the reporting of data by providers
  • errors in the process of capturing data
  • estimation for missing data
  • definition and classification errors
  • incomplete coverage.

Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, and efficient operating procedures and systems used to compile statistics.

The June quarter 2003 response rates were:
  • 91% licensed hotels
  • 89% motels and guest houses
  • 90% serviced apartments.


The ABS has identified 132 hotels, motels and guest houses and serviced apartments which have been operating for a number of quarters but were not on the STA frame. These additional establishments have been included in the STA from the June quarter 2003.

The addition of the 132 tourism establishments has resulted in a break in time series between the March and June quarters 2003. The impact of the break in time series is explained in the Appendix. Particular care needs to be taken when calculating percentage changes between the June quarter 2003 and previous quarters.


From 1 July 2000, takings from accommodation include gross revenue from the provision of accommodation, including GST. Takings from meals are excluded. Where businesses are unable to provide the data inclusive of GST, it is automatically adjusted by the ABS prior to aggregation and release in output.


Survey results are aggregated to tourism regions as defined by relevant state and territory tourist commissions or equivalent organisations. Tourism regions are reviewed annually and are subject to boundary and name changes. Where changes have occurred care should be taken when making comparisons with previously published data at this level.

Details of the composition of tourism regions, major changes to tourism regions and outline maps of tourism regions are provided on the Tourism Theme Page of the ABS Web site <www.abs.gov.au>.


Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are included in this publication. These estimates were previously published in Tourism Indicators Australia cat. no. 8634.0 (discontinued). The seasonally adjusted and trend data items which were included in Tourism Indicators Australia have been changed. Room nights occupied, takings at current prices and takings at average 1989-90 prices have been replaced by room occupancy rate and takings at current prices.

Seasonal adjustment is a means of removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation from the original time series so that the effect of other influences on the series may be more clearly recognised. Seasonal adjustment procedures do not aim to remove the irregular or non-seasonal influences which may be present in any particular month. Irregular influences that are highly volatile can make it difficult to interpret the movement of the series even after adjustment for seasonal variation, and cannot be assumed to indicate changes in the trend.

The way in which seasonally adjusted and trend estimates were calculated in Tourism Indicators Australia has changed from a Forward Factor methodology to a Concurrent methodology. The Forward Factor method relied on an annual analysis of the original time series to estimate seasonal factors that were to be applied in the forthcoming four quarters. Under this method the projected seasonal factors, or forward factors, were not updated until the next annual analysis. The Concurrent methodology uses the most up to date original time series available at each reference period to estimate seasonal factors thus eliminating the need to use projected seasonal factors.


Smoothing the seasonally adjusted series reduces the impact of the irregular component of the seasonally adjusted series and creates the trend estimates. The trend estimates are derived by applying a 7-term Henderson moving average to the quarterly seasonally adjusted series. The Henderson moving average used in the middle of the time series is symmetric but, as the end of a time series is approached, asymmetric forms of the symmetric moving average are applied. Unlike the weights of the standard 7-term Henderson moving average, the weights used with the quarterly data have been tailored to suit the particular characteristics of individual series.

While these techniques enable trend estimates for the latest period to be produced, the process does result in revisions to the trend estimates in recent months, particularly as additional original estimates become available. For further information refer to Information Paper: A Guide to Interpreting Time Series - Monitoring Trends, 2003 cat. no. 1349.0 available on this web site.


ABS releases counts of accommodation establishments and their capacity on an annual basis in respect of the pre-1998 scope of the survey (but recognising serviced apartments separately) as follows:
  • hotels, motels and guest houses and serviced apartments with facilities and having five or more rooms
  • holiday flats, units and houses (other than those included with serviced apartments) which are operated by owners, managers or real estate agents who have sole letting rights to at least five flats, units or houses for short term letting
  • all caravan parks regardless of size
  • all visitor hostels regardless of size

As a result of classification changes applied from March quarter 1998 onward, data will not be comparable with those previously published for particular accommodation types.

These counts are published annually on the Tourism Theme Page of the ABS web site. Counts for calendar years prior to 2002 were published in a quarterly issue of Tourism Indicators, Australia cat. no. 8634.0 (discontinued).


Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sum of the component items.


Other ABS publications and products which may be of interest are outlined below. Please note, older publication may no longer be available through ABS bookshops but are available through ABS libraries. All publications released from 1998 onwards are available on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au> (charges apply).
    Directory of Tourism Statistics, 2001 cat. no. 1130.0 (irregular)
    Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia cat. no. 3401.0 (issued monthly)
    Short-term Visitor Arrivals to Australia, Preliminary cat. no. 3401.0.55.001 (issued monthly)
    Tourism Indicators, Australia cat. no. 8634.0 (discontinued from September quarter 2002 - previously issued quarterly)
    Electronic release Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data cat. no. 8635.n.55.001 (data cubes for each state/territory - issued quarterly).

Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products cat. no. 1101.0. The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


As well as the statistics included in this publication, the ABS has other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.