Questions remain on occupancy reporting

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: Tourism Operators must report their occupancy by the 10th of the following month. On December 16, the report for October was not yet published. The hotel industry publishes weekly reports for the previous week!  see http://www.hotelnews

resource.com/article75328.html.

On December 16, I wrote to the minister of tourism to complain. On December 18, I am told that the October statistics are published.

Often, I have complained about the timeliness of accommodations statistics, with little apparent improvement.

The public servant who wrote the reply said many factors could affect a business’ ability to report on time.  Just how hard is it to say I had 124 rooms for sale and I sold 33? Most operators have a vacancy management system that spits out the numbers automatically. Why are tourism operators not reporting on time?

I am tired of the government making excuses for people who do not follow the rules. The reporting requirement is part of the Tourism Industry Act regulations. Yet the legislation specifies no consequences for non compliance. Furthermore, the public servant who replied to me added: “I also expect punitive measures would have a negative impact on an operator’s willingness to continue to provide these important statistics.”

Based on this logic, we would not penalize anyone for doing something wrong for fear we might offend

them.

The department has reports on its website: http://www.gov.pe.ca/tourism/index.php3?number=2050&lang=E. However, the latest report I find there is 2007.

Often, when I point out a shortfall or a mistake to the Department of Tourism, I get: “Why are you the only one complaining?” Perhaps I am the only one who cares. I would rather believe that many people care but not a sufficient number care enough to let the department know that they are not fulfilling their obligation to us.  If tourism is one of the main pillars of our Island, why is it that tourism operators are not treated with respect for the contributions they make to the economy of the Island?

Guy Cousineau,

B&B Operator and Barista,

Charlottetown

Organizations: Department of Tourism

Geographic location: Iceland, Charlottetown

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