Tourist Accommodation Developments

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The Tourist Accommodation Developments Survey (TADS) is funded by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (ISR) on behalf of the Tourism Forecasting Council (TFC). While the first survey was for the March quarter 1995, survey results in the form of Unit Record Files (URFs) have been made available to ISR for each subsequent survey - which have been of varying length reference periods. The TFC may, in conjunction with its research and forecasting, publish or make available (for those projects for which "consent for release" has been obtained) identifiable characteristics of individual tourist accommodation construction projects such as their accommodation capacity, star grading, estimated date of commencement/completion and value and location of the project. Likewise, the ABS may make this information available to users.

    The TFC was established to provide better quality information on the tourism industry to aid investment planning and thereby minimise the industy's record of swings in investment and profitability. The information from this survey about new tourism developments is designed to help industry operators and investors to more effectively plan future development activity and details of individual projects (for which the owners have given their consent to release details) are available either in the TFCs regular report "Forecast" or at the ISR website. Knowledge of other projects that are approved but not yet commenced reduces the chance of developments overcrowding the local market for the supply of accommodation.

    The scope of this collection is any building job involving tourist accommodation development (including alterations and additions) on the quarterly ABS Building Activity Survey (BACS) frame for Australia, ie, those approved building jobs coded to 030 or 031 (Hotel, motel, etc) of the 1986 Functional Classification of Buildings (FCB) classification, and which has an approved building completion value of $2 million or more (and where this value relates to the tourist accommodation component in the case of a mixed-use building - see "Collection History" - December 1999 re building details), and which are:

    • completed during the reference period, or
    • under construction at the end of the reference period, or
    • approved but not yet commenced (by the end of the second to last month of the reference period).

    Not all jobs coded to FCB 030 or 031 in the BACS are necessarily tourist accommodation projects, eg, migrant hostels and youth camp dormitories, but these are likely to be minimal.

    While the coverage is a census of all jobs within scope, there may be some undercoverage on the BACS frame due to undercoverage or incorrect classification of buildings in the ABS Building Approvals (BAPS) collection, since the BACS survey frame is updated through the building approval process.

    There are some problems with the definition of "tourist accommodation" in that a construction job involving a single building is coded to the intended function of the building at the time of approval. Its subsequent use can differ, eg, a block of apartments intended for tourist accommodation can subsequently be built and sold for long term residential use or vice-versa. To ensure coverage is as complete as possible, every endeavour is made to detect those developments coded in BAPS to residential use but later (on completion) used for tourist accommodation by reference to both the Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Australia & New Zealand Digest and to the ABS Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) for new establishments recently included in the STA but not included in the BACS frame because they were not coded to FCB 030 or 031.

    Also, while all attempts are made (for December 1999 cycle onwards - see "Collection History" - December 1999 re building details) to collect details of the tourist accommodation minority components (down to a building value of $2m) in cases of intended mixed-use buildings, such buildings are, however, normally coded in BAPS to their intended predominant use.


    Conceptual framework
    Selections for the TADS are drawn from the BACS survey frame which is updated through the building approval process. The BACS survey population provides a list of all tourist accommodation projects (including alterations and additions) above an approved completion value of $50,000. Only those projects coded to 030 or 031 (Hotel, motel, etc) in the 1986 FCB classification (which includes a wider scope of projects than just tourist accommodation) and with an approved building completion value of $2 million or more are included in the TADS. For those projects identified for follow-up in the TADS, the owner/developer of the project is identified and sent a questionnaire.

    Projects included in the 12 months to December 2000 cycle included those which were either:

    • completed during the 12 month period 1/1/2000 to 31/12/2000;
    • still under construction at 31/12/2000, or
    • approved but not yet commenced at 30/11/2000 but which were expected to be completed by no later than 31/12/03.

    Main outputs
    1. An electronic URF in the form of an Excel v.5 spreadsheet was supplied to ISR and contained a list of individual tourist accommodation construction projects by name, site address, type of accommodation, star grading, expected number of new rooms/units/apartments, value of the job and expected date of completion and opening. The URF included only those projects for which ABS obtained a signed consent to release the information, although aggregated data was shown for the remaining projects.
    2. A brief article including a summary table of results (showing aggregate data only) was included in the monthly Building Approvals, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8731.0) - March 2001 issue (released 4/5/01). A similar article is usually also released in Tourism Indicators, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8634.0) - December quarter issue. For the December 2000 cycle, an expanded article appeared in the June quarter 2001 issue. Because the data is in aggregate form only, those responses for which consent was not granted are also included, since their inclusion is not identifiable.

    • The "Type of Building" classification as used in the Building Activity survey (the 1986 FCB) - to identify those non-residential building jobs coded to 030 or 031 "Hotels, motels, etc"
    • "Type of accommodation"
      • hotel, motel, guest house or serviced apartments
      • holiday flats or units
      • caravan parks
      • visitor/backpacker hostels
    • "Star grading" (1 - 5)

    Other concepts (summary)
    If a project has been approved but is not expected to be completed until a date beyond 2 years after the reference year, it is normally excluded from the survey on the grounds that there could be considered to be some uncertainty as to the project proceeding. However, for the December 2000 cycle, project(s) expected to be completed in 2003 were included in the survey on the grounds of their assessed high probability of proceeding.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    There are no geographic coverage exclusions and data is available at the unit record level by location address, for those respondents who gave consent to release their details. As such, details are potentially available (subject to consent having been given) for any geographic area, although the tourist accommodation development projects are not specifically coded to Census Collection District or Statistical Local Area, etc. Any request for information by geographic area is subject to overall confidentiality considerations.


    Frequency comments
    The first 3 collections had a quarterly cycle (ie, March quarter 1995 to September quarter 1995), the next covered a 9-month period (October 1995 to June 1996), the next a 6-month period July 1996 to December 1996 while subsequent cycles have covered the 12-month periods to 31 December. Each survey is the subject of a new Memorandum of Understanding.

    March 1995 The collection was first undertaken in respect of the March quarter 1995 reference period and remained a quarterly collection up to and including the September quarter 1995.

    June 1996 This cycle was for the 9-month period October 1995 to June 1996 and covered only projects with an approved completion value of $2.0 million or more in lieu of the previous cut-off of $0.25 million or more.

    December 1996 This cycle was for the 6-months to December 1996 and used a collection form produced by "PageMaker" software.

    December 1997 This cycle was for the 12-months to December 1997.

    December 1998 The definition of the "value of development" changed from the concept of the expected completion value used in BACS, to one that includes any new furniture and fittings as well as new recreational facilities primarily created to service users of the tourist accommodation and that percentage of new land, landscaping, car parks, etc, related to the tourist accommodation. Also, the number of questions was reduced from 24 to 19, by combining some questions and deleting others, and the form design improved by shortening the question wording and adding explanations re inclusions and exclusions.

    December 1999 A number of changes were made to the collection form, including:-
    Changes directly affecting data reported-
    - Re building details
    The definition of a tourist accommodation development in cases of mixed-use buildings was changed from one that provides mainly short-term accommodation to one that provides any proportion of short-term accommodation, as long as the tourist accommodation component had a building value of $2m or more. The coverage of the collection was thus potentially increased. Also, any non tourist accommodation components were excluded from mixed-use projects.
    - Re accommodation capacity
    "Serviced apartments" were grouped with the "Hotel, motel or guest house" category rather than with "Holiday flats and units". The new groupings combine accommodation of a more similar nature. The information thus obtained (re star gradings of serviced apartments as well as major refurbishments thereto) is also more consistent with the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA).
    Changes not directly affecting data reported-
    - Re timing of development
    Question wording re staged projects was changed to collect (generally) details of expected completion etc dates and other information re all approved stages rather than just the first stage. In previous cycles, the client had to be approached again if they indicated several stages were involved.
    - Re value of development
    Previously, the form asked if any part of the development was not related to tourist accommodation and, if so, what percentage was related to tourist accommodation. From the December 2000 cycle onwards, the questions both refer to that not related to tourist accommodation.
    - Re other matters
    Question wording re type of accommodation for caravan parks was aligned more with the STA. Also, the wording and layout of some questions was made clearer and more consistent both within the form and with other sources such as the STA.

    December 2000 There were only minor changes to the wording on the collection form, including the definition of date of commencement to align with that used in BACS and to the lists of inclusions and exclusions for data items. For example, the value of the development was specifically requested to exclude the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Some other minor wording changes were also made to align better with the STA.


    Data availability comments
    Data is released about 4 months after the end of the reference period in Building Approvals, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8731.0), March issue.
    The TADS survey has been discontinued, with the final cycle being for the year ended December 2000. A URF was made available to ISR on 4/5/01 and results published in Building Approvals, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8731.0), March 2001 issue and a Feature Article included in Tourism Indicators, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8634.0), June quarter 2001 issue.
    Also, data from the December 1999 and December 2000 surveys are at the ISR website (

    31/08/2004 12:04 PM