In contrast to many other countries, there is no compulsory registration scheme for accommodation establishments in the UK, making it difficult to size this sector with complete accuracy.
In order to gain the best possible measure of accommodation stock within available resources, VisitEngland conducts an accommodation census which includes:
All Quality Assessed Accommodation
Accommodation listed in external business databases
Accommodation registered with regional delivery partners (Regional Tourist Boards / Regional Development Agencies/Sub-Regional Partners)
Of course, the business landscape is subject to constant change, not all businesses are listed in the sources we use, and it is not always possible to source detailed information about numbers of rooms and bedspaces, and so this information is not perfect. However, we are confident that our census captures the vast majority of accommodation businesses and provides a good estimate of accommodation stock in England.
This exercise was conducted in 2012 and will be updated again in 2014.
Serviced Accommodation Census Results 2012 - 2 page summary
Non-Serviced Accommodation Census Results 2012 - 2 page summary
Accommodation stock by County and Local Authority (excel spreadsheet)