Accommodation Survey (2013 to current)

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The Accommodation Survey is a monthly survey that provides information about short-term commercial accommodation activity at national, regional, and lower levels.

The survey is run by Statistics New Zealand and sponsored by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

Information from the survey is used by regional tourism organisations, local and national government, and the accommodation industry for monitoring and planning. Statistics produced from the survey include guest night numbers, capacity, and occupancy rates.


The objective of the Accommodation Survey is to provide an authoritative set of information on accommodation supply and demand for use in policy planning at the national and regional level. The survey began in 1996 with the initial sponsor being the then Ministry of Tourism, then later the Ministry of Economic Development, and currently Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

The Accommodation Survey has statistics on numbers of guest nights (split into domestic and international), stay-unit nights, guest arrivals, establishments, capacity, occupancy rate, guests per stay-unit night, and stay length. However, because monetary values are not collected in the survey, the results do not feed into the National Accounts or other outputs produced by Statistics New Zealand.

Citation Information


Accommodation Survey (2013 to current)

Alternate Title

Accommodation Occupancy Survey


Statistics New Zealand: Business Indicators


Statistics New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand. Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 2013-01 to 2015-08

Topical Coverage

  • Accommodation
  • Tourism
  • Accommodation
  • Guest nights
  • Length of stay
  • Occupancy rate
  • Stay-unit nights


Significant events impacting this study series

July 1996 survey month:

  • First reference period for the Accommodation Survey.

August 2002 survey month:

  • Introduction of seasonally adjusted and trend series estimates for the total guest nights variable. This was introduced into the Hot Off The Press and Media Release publications only.

September 2002 survey month

  • Introduction of seasonally adjusted and trend series estimates for the guest night variable for each of the five accommodation types. This was introduced into the Hot Off The Press and Media Release publications only.

October 2002 survey month:

  • Introduction of seasonally adjusted and trend series estimates for the guest night variable for the North Island and South Island. This was introduced into the Hot Off The Press and Media Release publications only.

December 2002 survey month:

  • The Accommodation Pivot Tables were introduced as an electronic addition to the Hot Off the Press. Three Excel pivot tables are updated each month with the latest month's data. These pivot tables are
    • Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) area by Accommodation Type
    • Territorial Authority (TA) by Total Accommodation
    • Origin of Guests Information by Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO).

October 2007 survey month:

  • Domestic and international guest night statistics became available monthly instead of quarterly.
  • Statistics for origin of guests by country were available for the last time.

August 2008 survey month: - Introduction of data from administrative data source, New Zealand Hotel Council, for some hotels.

September 2009 survey month:

  • The 'hosted' accommodation group was removed from the survey
  • Regional boundaries were updated. Results for earlier months were reworked to incorporate these changes, which allows continued comparison across all survey months.

Two accommodation types were renamed:

  • 'backpackers/hostels' was renamed 'backpackers'
  • 'caravan parks/camping grounds' was renamed 'holiday parks'.

These changes resulted from a joint review conducted by Statistics NZ and the former Ministry of Tourism, which aimed to balance the need for high-quality information against the need to reduce respondent load.

Usage and limitations of the data

The survey provides detailed information on levels and trends in the accommodation industry. This can be used for business and government planning and marketing.

Main users of the data

The survey provides monthly information on the capacity and utilisation of short-term commercial accommodation in New Zealand. The information assists with monitoring and planning in the tourism industry and may eventually feed into the proposed Tourism Satellite Account.


2) Monthly

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