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Louisville Hospitality Industry Faces Tough '09

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau is encouraging hospitality businesses in the city to plan ahead for a tough year.  It has launched a new web site designed to share industry trends and marketing plans and help companies handle what’s likely to be a continuing drop in visitors.  Still, Bureau head Jim Wood says the tourism business is better off than some.“We have not been hit as hard as other industries, relevant to the economy.  We are down in occupancy by a point and a half last year in 2008, and that’s not bad all things being equal, we were up in average room rate just a little bit," says Wood.Wood also says the city has booked some important conventions for the next few years.  But, because organizations are spending less on travel and meetings, he expects them to send fewer attendees.  The Bureau estimates that tourism has a more than $1.7 billion dollar impact on the local economy.