8635.0 - Tourist Accommodation, Australia, Mar 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2005   
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1 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.


2 From March quarter 2005, the scope of the quarterly STA has been expanded. This takes the form of a reduction in the size cut-off for hotels, motels and guest houses, and serviced apartments from 15 rooms to 5 rooms. The scope also includes those additional establishments included in the triennial collection, conducted in 2000 and 2003. In summary, the scope of the STA now includes the following categories of establishments:

  • hotels and resorts with facilities and 5 or more rooms
  • motels, private hotels and guest houses with facilities and 5 or more rooms
  • serviced apartments with 5 or more units
  • 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.

3 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.

4 Some establishments also provide long-term residential accommodation. For licensed hotels with facilities, 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.

5 Note that this publication presents results from the March quarter 2005 STA for the following categories of establishments only:

  • hotels and resorts with facilities and 15 or more rooms
  • motels, private hotels and guest houses with facilities and 15 or more rooms
  • serviced apartments with 15 or more units.

6 First results from the expanded scope will be included in the June quarter 2005 issue. This issue will present results from the March and June quarters 2005, after which results will be published quarterly.

Additional establishments

7 As a result of the expansion of the survey, those establishments on the STA population frame listed as having 5 to 14 rooms were sent survey forms for March quarter 2005. These establishments were previously listed as 'out-of-scope' of the STA collection and had not been contacted by the ABS for inclusion in the survey prior to March quarter 2005.

8 This contact resulted in the identification of an additional 174 establishments with 15 or more rooms. These establishments have been added to the ongoing, 15 or more room STA series from March quarter 2005 and their data have been included in this publication.

9 The majority of these establishments have less than 20 rooms and have minimal contribution to accommodation takings at the state/territory level. For this reason, the inclusion of these additional establishments in the collection has not resulted in a break in series.

10 The table below shows the number of establishments, the average and median number of rooms and the contribution to takings from accommodation at the state/territory level for the additional 174 establishments.

Contribution of Additional Establishments, State/Territory

Average rooms
Median rooms
Contribution to total takings

New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory


11 For the purposes of this publication the STA includes the following categories of establishments which provide predominantly short-term non-residential accommodation to the general public:
  • licensed 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.


12 The main source of coverage is from the Australian Automobile Association through AAA Tourism Pty Ltd. 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.


13 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.

14 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.

Response rates

15 The March quarter 2005 response rates were:

  • 94.9% licensed hotels with facilities
  • 93.7% motels and guest houses
  • 94.2% serviced apartments.

Imputation rates

16 Imputation is the process whereby a value is generated for missing data items by averaging the responses for similar establishments which were operating during the reference period.

17 The March quarter 2005 imputation rates were:

  • 3.6% of room nights
  • 3.1% of takings.


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

19 The addition of the 132 tourism establishments 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 Appendix 1, Tourist Accommodation, Australia (cat. no. 8635.0), December quarter 2003. Particular care needs to be taken for all calculations of percentage changes that cross the break in series.


20 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.


21 Star grade classifications of establishments were revised by AAA Tourism Pty Ltd. These changes were implemented for the STA in the March quarter 2004 and should be taken into account when making comparisons with previous quarters.


22 Small area statistics for 2005 are classified to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2004 Edition (cat. no. 1216.0). Data are coded to the statistical local area (SLA) level.

23 These SLA data are aggregated to tourism regions as defined by relevant state and territory tourist commissions. 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.

24 Details of SLAs, the composition of tourism regions, major changes to tourism regions and outline maps of tourism regions are provided in the ABS publication Tourism Region Maps and Concordance Files, Australia (cat. no. 9503.0.55.001) available from the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.


25 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 quarter. 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.

26 The way in which seasonally adjusted and trend estimates were calculated changed from a Forward Factor methodology to a Concurrent methodology in March quarter 2003. 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.


27 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.

28 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 quarters, 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 at the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.


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


30 Other ABS publications and products which may be of interest are outlined below. Please note, older publications 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>.

  • Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data cat. no. 8635.1.55.001-8635.8.55.001 (data cubes for each state/territory - issued quarterly)
  • Tourism Region Maps and Concordance Files, Australia cat. no. 9503.0.55.001 (annual)
  • Tourist Accommodation, Australia, Expanded Scope Collection cat. no. 8635.0.55.001 (irregular)
  • Short-term Visitor Arrivals Estimates, Australia cat. no. 3401.0.55.001 (issued monthly)
  • Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia cat. no. 3401.0 (issued monthly)
  • Australian National Accounts, Tourism Satellite Account cat. no. 5249.0 (annual)
  • Directory of Tourism Statistics, 2001 cat. no. 1130.0 (irregular)

31 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.


32 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.