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New data from Smith Travel Research show that occupancy in San Diego hotels dropped 4.3% for the four weeks ended March 23, according to Jerry Morrison, Encinitas-based hotel guru. This was the sharpest decline among the 25 largest markets in the U.S. However, it is too early to conclude that the lack of tourism advertising, a result of the differences between Mayor Bob Filner and the Tourism Marketing District, is the villain, according to Morrison. "It's too early to make that cause and effect connection, although it may prove to be absolutely true and may prove to be prophetic," he says. Actually, the third week in March was up from a year earlier, "and by the end of the month this may fix itself," he says. Morrison is concerned that salespeople working for TMD may depart and go with tourism promoters in Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, "and we could be coming from behind [in selling convention center space] for five years." He is also worried that cuts in defense spending could hurt San Diego tourism.

As reported by Dorian Hargrove of the Reader Tuesday (March 26), and by the Union-Tribune Monday, Joe Terzi of TMD blames the stalemate between the mayor and hoteliers for weaker statistics in February. The new data in this post update Hargrove's Tuesday post.

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Comments

Justin Powell March 27, 2013 @ 6:37 p.m.

Well, this must be proof that all the fighting between new Mayor Filner and all those greedy hotel magnates is affecting our tourism. Potential visitors are being turned off in droves. Maybe this means the beach communities won't suffer the invasion of the Zonies this summer because of all this bickering? Let us hope!

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Don Bauder March 27, 2013 @ 8:18 p.m.

justpow: The hoteliers put out the story that it's only the mayor holding up an agreement. But the hoteliers could give, too -- and should. It may be too early to say that the lack of advertising is denting March tourism. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark March 27, 2013 @ 8:47 p.m.

justpow--I think the Zonies already know where to stay after all these years, and since I think it will be hot there again this year (like normal), it's safe to say that they will be here in droves.

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Don Bauder March 28, 2013 @ 7:16 a.m.

aardvark: Yes, the Zonies have two choices: 1. come to San Diego or 2. melt on the sidwalk and die. The big market is the Los Angeles one: it would be interesting to learn how much that is affected by advertising. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK March 28, 2013 @ 8:40 a.m.

Maybe san diego hotels and entertainment venues are pricing themselves out of the market.

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Don Bauder March 28, 2013 @ 1:35 p.m.

Murphyjunk: I doubt SD is pricing itself out of the market. According to Smith Travel data, average daily room rate in SD in February was $127.22. In San Francisco it was $163.58 and Los Angeles $135.98. Anaheim was a bit lower at $120.70. Best, Don Bauder

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