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Survey Participant Information - Survey of Tourist Accommodation


Download Survey Workbook
Web Form Access
Important Change to the Frequency of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation
Sample Survey Form
Relevance and Selection
Submitting Data
Survey Questions
Other Information


Below is an electronic workbook that has been designed to assist you to keep your monthly records for the 2013-14 financial year. Instructions on how to use the workbook are included in the document. To download a copy of the workbook, click on the link below and save it to a suitable location on your computer. Once completed, please do not return this workbook to the ABS as it is for your records only.

STA 2013-14 Workbook.xls

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To access your web form, enter the following address into your web browser (i.e. enter into the address bar not into a search engine) To login, use the ‘User Identifier’ and ‘Password' details that are included in your letter from the ABS. If you have misplaced your letter and login details, please call 1800 304 488 (free call excluding mobile phones) to request a new password.


This survey is moving from collecting data on a quarterly basis to collecting data annually starting from the 2013-14 financial year.

Why is the survey moving to an annual collection?

The frequency of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation is changing because of a reduction in the ABS' budget.

When will I have to complete the survey?

You will be sent a letter with login details at the end of the financial year (June 2014) asking you to complete the online survey.

What information will I be asked to provide?

The survey questions will be the same as you have been asked previously (i.e. capacity, room/unit nights, guest nights and accommodation takings) except you will no longer be asked to provide data on:
  • Number of persons working for this establishment during the last pay period
  • Number of guest arrivals

You will still be asked to provide monthly and quarterly data for the financial year, rather than for one quarter only.

How will I remember information for my establishment for the whole financial year?
    The above electronic workbook is provided to assist you to keep records throughout the financial year. It includes sections to record information for all questions that will be in the online survey.
    Regularly recording information in the workbook will enable you to easily complete the online survey without having to recall information for the period covering July 2013 to June 2014.
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    Below is a sample of a paper survey form. Although paper forms are no longer the method of data collection for this survey, this form shows the questions that are asked in the web form.
    STA1 March 13 sample only.pdf

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    What is the purpose of the survey and who uses the data?

    The Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) is the principle source of tourist accommodation statistics in Australia. The results of this survey are published quarterly in Tourist Accommodation, Australia (Cat. No. 8635.0) and are used by a wide variety of organisations in both government and private industry to analyse trends in the availability and use of accommodation facilities.

    Major users of the data include:
      • state and territory tourism authorities
      • regional tourism organisations funded by Local Government
      • the Commonwealth Treasury and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET)
      • key industry stakeholders, such as the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) and National Tourism Alliance (NTA)
      • international agencies like the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
      • consultants, developers and tourism related businesses
      • data users in the general public.
    Why did our establishment get chosen for the survey?

    A small number of ABS business surveys are conducted as censuses. This means that all businesses within a particular industry will be selected to participate. The STA is run as a quarterly census that requires all in scope establishments to be included in the survey.

    Establishments in scope of the STA are:
      • hotels and resorts with 15 or more rooms
      • motels, private hotels and guest houses with 15 or more rooms
      • serviced apartments with 15 or more units.
    As your establishment fits the scope of the collection, you have been included.

    Our establishment does not usually accommodate tourists. Do we still have to complete the survey?

    Yes. The term ‘tourist’ applies to persons who travel outside of their usual environment for many purposes, including holidays, business and study.

    Our establishment has a number of rooms/units that are rented out on a long-term basis, how does this affect our selection in the survey?

    Individual rooms/units are out of scope for the STA if they are continuously rented/leased for a period greater than 2 months by the same person or company. However, if greater than half of your establishment is made up of 15 or more rooms/units available for short term stay (2 months or less), then your establishment is still in scope. Survey calculations must only be made for the short term stay rooms/units.

    Is timeshare in scope for the survey?

    Timeshare establishments are out of scope unless they have a majority (50% or more) of their occupancy taken up by the general public, as opposed to timeshare owners.

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    Is the survey compulsory?

    The ABS relies on the cooperation of accommodation establishments in Australia to provide accurate information as requested. However, the Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the Australian Statistician with the power, if necessary, to direct you in writing to answer the questions.

    Why don’t you pay people to fill in the survey?

    The ABS appreciates that considerable time and effort is required on the part of respondents to complete the form. As there is no provision under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to pay respondents for their time, we rely on their cooperation.

    Is confidentiality of my data guaranteed?

    The ABS has a legislative responsibility to ensure that it provides a quality statistical service whilst also protecting the privacy rights of those individuals or businesses who provide information. Your completed form remains confidential to the ABS and statistics will only be published in the form of aggregated data. The Australian Statistician and his staff are bound by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to observe the strictest confidence in regard to the information supplied by respondents.

    How accurate do my figures need to be?

    The ABS requires information that is as accurate as possible. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the total estimate will be. However, if exact data is not readily available careful estimates will be accepted.
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    What is the preferred option for completing the survey?

    From the September quarter 2011 all businesses selected in the STA have the option of submitting data online, via a web form. The ABS strongly recommends the use of this new web-based form as it provides a simple and environmentally friendly way for you to submit your data.

    How do I access the web form?

    To access your web form, enter the following address into your web browser - To login, use the ‘User Identifier’ and ‘Password' details that are included in your quarterly letter from the ABS. If you have misplaced your letter and login details, please call 1800 304 488 (free call excluding mobile phones) to request a new password.

    Why does the web form look different?

    From March quarter 2013, a new look web form was released. The new web form has a different look and colour, however there are minimal differences between the web forms. Question 2 (regarding changes to the establishment name) has been removed and there are no question numbers on the new web form. The questions now appear on separate web pages.

    How is the web form different from the paper form?

    In comparison to the equivalent paper form, the questions on the web form mostly correspond. The main difference is the removal of Question 2 (regarding changes to the establishment name). There are also no question numbers on the new web form,

    Can I save the web form as a draft?

    Yes, there is functionality to save the web form when partially completed so you can return to it later. To do this simply click the Save and Exit button at the top of the form. This will save your form and exit you from the system. You will receive a confirmation message. You can then log back in to complete the survey at any time. Please be aware that for security reasons, if there is inactivity on your computer for 20 minutes the web form will time out.

    How do I submit the web form?

    To submit your completed form to the ABS, click the Submit button at the end of the form. Remember that once you submit the form, you will no longer be able to view or update it.

    Can I keep a copy?

    Yes, the ABS highly recommends that you keep a copy of your completed form for your own personal records.
      • To print a copy of the form, click the Print button on the receipt page.
      • A sample version of the form is available to download by clicking Download Form from the navigation menu.

    Can I get an extension or request assistance to complete the form?

    If you need help completing the form, or feel that you may have difficulties in meeting the due date, please call 1800 304 488 and advise our staff of the situation.
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    Why do you need to collect my turnover?

    Turnover is as important as any of the other data items requested. Your turnover information contributes to providing a picture of the size of the tourist accommodation industry in financial terms. Your individual data is never released in anything other than an aggregate form.

    As a working proprietor, am I and/or my spouse considered ‘staff’?

    Yes, any working proprietor and partners are considered ‘persons working for this establishment’ for the purposes of question 1.

    Do I include the staff in my restaurant, conference facility and/or function centre?

    Yes, for the purpose of question 1, all those people working for the establishment are counted.

    What is meant by ‘room/unit nights’?

    If a room/unit is occupied on any given night, then that is a room/unit night. For example; if a motel has 20 rooms and 10 of them are occupied every night for a 30 day month, then that would equate to 300 room nights for that month.

    What is meant by ‘guest nights’?

    If a guest stays in an establishment on any given night, then that is a guest night. For example; if a motel has 20 rooms and 10 of them are occupied every night for a 30 day month, with 2 people staying in each room every one of those nights, then that would equate to 600 guest nights for that month.

    How do 'guest arrivals' differ from 'guest nights'?

    When a guest first books in for a stay at an establishment, that is called a guest arrival. Guest arrivals may also be known as 'check ins'. If the same individual returns for a second stay at the accommodation establishment during the same survey period, the first night of the second stay is regarded as a separate guest arrival.

    We have many different types of beds at our establishment, how do I count these?

    Any style of bed that is normally used as a permanent bed should be included in your figures. If a bed is designed to sleep one person it will count toward single beds. If a bed is designed to sleep two people it will count toward double beds.
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    There have been significant changes at our establishment since the last quarterly survey, how do I inform the ABS of these changes?

    Please update the relevant fields on your web form if there has been any significant change/s to the following details:
      • operating name
      • physical or postal address
      • Australian Business Number (ABN)
      • ownership or operations
      • contact details of the person best qualified to provide the data and respond to ABS queries.
    If you are using the paper form, you should specify the change/s in question 2.

    I have already sent you the information requested.

    If you believe you have already given the information requested by the ABS through a survey or other means, please call our staff on 1800 304 488 and let us know. If you sent in a completed survey form by mail, you will need to provide your contact details and the date the form was sent. If you received a reminder notice about your form, you may have sent it in at the same time as your reminder notice was sent out.

    How can my establishment get access to the results of ABS surveys?

    As a participant in a survey, you can ask to receive an electronic copy of the main publication into which your data has contributed. You can also access the results of the STA and other ABS surveys on-line by going to or contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


    The ABS is grateful for the cooperation of establishments in returning completed forms promptly to enable early processing and release of results from our surveys. We look forward to your continued support.

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