South Florida tourist season opens with empty hotel beds
Tourism in South Florida retreated in November, a disturbing opening act for the winter tourism season. Still, it could be worse. Just ask Orlando. A tourism downturn gained steam in November as South Florida hotels cut room rates but still were left with too many empty beds -- a weak prelude to the crucial winter tourism season. ''What we're seeing pretty much across the board is that people are tightening their belts,'' said Cathy Rick-Joule, manager of February's Miami International Boat Show, where bookings are off nearly 30 percent. ``There's still an awful lot of complaining going on about the [hotel] rates.''