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Tourism sector should pay for accommodation survey - officials

The tourism sector can pay for an accommodation survey if it thinks it is worthwhile, government officials say.

Statistics New Zealand announced earlier this week it would be dropping four industry sector surveys because it could not afford them.

Stats NZ has been using money from insurers - following the Kaikōura earthquake - and money intended for capital spending on day-to-day costs including running the Accommodation Survey.

However, the tourism sector said the accommodation survey was an essential measure of where visitors spent their time and money. The data also helped potential investors to know if there was an opportunity to build a new hotel or motel in a particular area, an industry spokesperson said.

But Eileen Basher of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said the survey did not capture people staying in accommodation booked through certain online forums.

She said there was still an opportunity to keep the survey if the sector was really keen for it to continue.

"Stats New Zealand has indicated that they're going to run it. The last collection month will be September and so there is an opportunity now if the industry feels that this is value for money for them to come to the party."