Race on to "unlock" Airbnb data in Australia

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Race on to "unlock" Airbnb data in Australia

Tourism operators need a better measure of supply and demand, says the Australian Government.

Grants of up to $1.1 million will be awarded for a better way to measure tourism in Australia, including the use of accommodation-sharing services such as Airbnb.

While five million people used Airbnb in Australia in 2017, overall measurements of tourism supply and demand overlook that activity, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The industry relies on surveys and publicly available data to understand supply and demand, according to the Department. But those measurements focus on “traditional” use of motels, hotels and serviced apartments.

Incomplete data makes planning harder for tourism operators, governments and investors.

Companies that solve this problem will be eligible for grants under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) Pilot Round 2 program. The Government will grant up to $100,000 for a feasibility study and up to $1 million for an 18-month proof of concept study.

To be eligible, applicants must have an Australian Business Number and a turnover of less than $20 million. Companies incorporated in Australia, individuals and partnerships can apply, thought they must also meet additional criteria. Grant applications will close on 17 April, 2019.

The solution must provide a consistent way to measure tourism supply and demand, adapt to new types of data and provide predictive insights.

It must capture, aggregate and measure “all aspects” of the industry and be easy to understand. And it must “unlock new data sources to measure the impacts of the sharing economy on tourism products and services…”.

Companies can also apply for other grants under the BRII Round 2 program. The grants focus on: fast and secure digital identity verification for people experiencing family and domestic violence; uplifting government capability to help deliver world-leading digital services; managing the risks of hitchhiking pests and contaminants on shipping containers; automating complex determinations for Australian Government information.

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