As bad or worse than 9-11
Occupancy erodes at Orlando-area hotels in September | orlandosentinel.com
Fewer than half of Orlando's hotel rooms were filled in September, as the area's overall occupancy rate fell by more than 10 percent from a year earlier. Occupancy in the Orlando market was 45.9 percent last month, compared with 51.1 percent in September 2007, according to data released Tuesday by Smith Travel Research. A slumping economy and high gas prices combined with the threat of hurricanes to keep tourists away. Revenue per available room, a key industry measure, was down 11.9 percent from a year ago. "That was probably one of the worst Septembers we've ever had," said Mark McHugh, president of Gatorland and chairman of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "As bad or worse than 9-11."