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'Short-sighted' ABS decision risks local tourism investment

11 June, 2014

Following a decision by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to axe tourism accommodation statistics, the accommodation industry has expressed fresh concerns about the level of tourism investment in Australia.

Speaking on behalf of the sector, the Accommodation Association of Australia urged the ABS to reconsider its stance.

"This is an extremely disappointing outcome for the accommodation industry," said Richard Munro, the Chief Executive Officer of the Accommodation Association of Australia.

"The ABS statistics are a vital tool for operators, investors and potential investors in Australia's accommodation industry.

What can't be measured can't be managed

"If you can't measure industry performance on a regular basis, then our industry can't manage it.

"To not have a comprehensive set of accurate performance data for such a large component of the tourism industry is akin to driving a car without a fuel gage."

The association has also criticised the ABS over a lack of consultation about the decision.

"Last year we wrote to the ABS about the future of tourism accommodation statistics and we never received a reply," Munro said.

"Seemingly, the ABS has difficulty understanding the value of tourism to the economy and that it has been identified by Deloitte as one of five super-growth industries for the Australian economy.

"The Accommodation Association is calling on the ABS to reverse this controversial decision and restore the quarterly release of tourism accommodation statistics."