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Canadian hoteliers not optimistic

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Canadian hotel operators surveyed in July are less optimistic about their prospects than they were earlier in the year. A mere five per cent expect occupancy rates to rise during the peak summer months, while more than three-quarters (76 per cent) are anticipating declines.

Sixty-two per cent of hoteliers expect to see a decrease in room rates between July and September, nearly nine times the seven per cent who think they will rise. Opinions are equally divided between those expecting an increase (three per cent) and those anticipating a decline (74 per cent) in corporate and commercial travel.

However, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of hoteliers foresee no change.

While some (eight per cent) did not expect any difficulties in the second quarter, the obstacles most frequently cited by those who had concerns were regional economic conditions (66 per cent), excess room supply (37 per cent) and exchange rate fluctuations (34 per cent). Twenty-one per cent said a lack of attractions or complementary facilities in the vicinity was a problem and some continued to report a shortage of skilled (13 per cent) and unskilled labour (11 per cent).

A similar percentage felt that Canada's reputation as a desired tourist destination (13 per cent) was a likely business impediment, while others (10 per cent) were expecting to experience abnormal weather or natural disasters.

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