The tourism industry has been left disappointed as Statistics New Zealand prepares to drop its monthly survey of bed nights in the region.
Stats NZ has dropped four surveys it undertakes, one being the monthly Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM), also known as the Accommodation Survey.
Hawke's Bay Tourism acting general manager Hamish Saxton said that although the survey isn't central to recording the visitor economy, it is the lack of information that is frustrating.
"The current lack of quality research is of frustration to regions, such as ourselves, that rely on information not just to report upon to stakeholders, but to assist with forecasting and planning," Saxton said.
The survey is set to end in November with the publication of September 2019 data, while the other three surveys, Energy Use, Screen Industry and Internet Service Providers, are set to be dropped immediately.
Saxton said Hawke's Bay Tourism would echo the sentiments of national industry organisations Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and Regional Tourism NZ (RTNZ) to reinstate the accommodation survey in some way.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) chief executive Chris Roberts said the CAM was not perfect but it was an essential measure of visitor volumes and movements, and changes in accommodation preferences, especially at a local level.
"CAM is an imperfect data set and TIA has been calling for improvements for many years.
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"For instance, it does not include information on peer-to-peer accommodation, such as Airbnb.
"MBIE and Stats NZ have begun work on concepts for replacing the CAM but the outcomes of this are at least a year away."
Stats NZ regularly review surveys to make sure they are cost effective and meet the needs of users for reliable data, without imposing undue time and effort for businesses completing them.
"Government agencies regularly look at how taxpayers' money is spent," deputy government statistician Denise McGregor said.
"We need to get a better value when collecting data, in the interests of all taxpayers," McGregor said.
"We understand that some groups may be disappointed by the loss of these surveys, because they provide important market updates on their particular sectors.
"But the world is changing rapidly. For example, the accommodation sector has seen the advent of the sharing economy with online holiday-home providers such as Airbnb and Bookabach, which are not represented in the Accommodation Survey."