March 2011 continued to be a strong month for Thunder Bay's accommodation sector with occupancy levels among the highest in Canada. Healthy increases are reported over March 2010, which in itself was stronger over the previous year. Lets face it. 2009 was a year most of the global tourism industry wants to forget anyway.
Hotel occupancy rose to 72%, up 2.7 points from 69.3 in March 2010. Average daily rate, however dipped to $92.32 from $96.54, signaling price competition among various properties to attract guests. This price competition translated into a slight dip in revenue per available room by 0.6% to $66.43 from $66.86 a year ago.
Overall, Thunder Bay's hotel performance continued to outshine the nation average of 57.6% and our growth rate outpaced the 1.6% national average. Revenue per available room locally, however, remains lower than the national average of $70.82.
A strong March is likely due to strong mining and health sciences related domestic corporate travel to the city, and reasonably strong sport tourism attendance for the annual Sibley Ski tour. While spring break brought some regional domestic leisure traffic into the city, the strong Canadian dollar has translated into many heading into Minnesota.
We report hotel performance based on data supplied by PKF Consulting. For our tourism partners seeking more detailed data, they can contact PKF directly.