Hotel occupancy levels in Thunder Bay continue to rebound after 2009's season and although our accommodation sector out performed most in North America last year, its a year everyone in the global tourism industry is happy to have behind them.
According to PKF Consulting data, March 2010 local occupancy levels were 69.3%, up 6.8% from 2009's 62.4%. This is significantly higher than the provincial average of 54.6%, up 3.1% from the previous March. RevPar was up a healthy 10.9% over 2009, averaging $66.86 versus $60.31 a year earlier.
Average daily rates were, however, down slightly (-0.1%) to $96.54 from $96.62 the previous March.
For the first quarter of 2010, average Q 1 occupancy levels in Thunder Bay were 60.5%, up from 57.3% a year earlier. Average daily room rates were up marginally to $95.53and RevPar (revenue per room) was up 5.9% to 57.75 from $54.53 in Q1 2009. All of this compares to a Provincial average of 50.5% occupancy or 0.6% growth. Once again, we're ahead of the trends.
We're attributing a lot of this growth to a healthy corporate travel sector, lead by mining exploration as well as a healthy MC and IT market in other sectors as well. March also saw a increase in participation in the Sleeping Giant Loppet and the city hosting both the North American Ice Yacht Championships and the Cavendish Cup CIS Men's University Hockey Championships, three events that helped increase march sport tourism performance. March's unusually warm weather, with spring break temps in the 20's, likely helped propel family leisure travel modestly as well.
Here's looking to a positive summer for tourism in Thunder Bay.
PKF Canada provides a wide range of services to the tourism and accommodation sectors and we credit them for the quoting of their data with respect to Thunder Bay performance. Tourism Thunder Bay quotes this data as an information service only. Analysis of the local trends is provided by Tourism Thunder Bay. We encourage tourism partners looking for a greater depth of accommodation data to contact PKF at www.pkfcanada.com.