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The Problem of accommodation occupancy data

08.05.13

Collecting accommodation occupancy data can be a real struggle. Whilst compiling really useful data doesn’t require much information from hotels and similar establishments, actually getting this data from them is a real struggle. It seems to be a combination of “one more thing to do”, “I keep forgetting”, “I’m not telling you that”, and “what about the VAT man?”.

However, we started collecting accommodation statistics in the Falkland Islands at the beginning of 2013, and now, as we reach April, over 90% of the accommodation stock is reporting.

How did we do it?

Well I think there are two reasons for this success…

  1. Each month we contact every accommodation establishment personally, by email, to ask for their data – and we have kept it simple. Just the number of rooms sold each month.
  2. The Falklands is a relatively small place, and there’s a sense of community. I think that this encourages many of the people running hotels, guest houses, etc, to report.

We are about to undertake a similar exercise in three small towns in Denmark. Using the same principles, it will be interesting to see how well it works there.