Troubles for New York Hotels
The city’s hotels, whose 77,000 rooms have been packed with record-setting numbers of visitors from Germany, Hong Kong and Peoria, are starting to feel the slowing economy. Until recently, tourism had been a bright spot in the city’s increasingly gloomy economic picture, fueled largely by foreign tourists taking advantage of a weak dollar. But many hotel operators have begun reporting that bookings for the next few months, traditionally the strongest part of the year, are falling below last year’s levels. Cancellations are also on the rise, and corporate travel executives are negotiating for steeper discounts on room contracts for 2009.