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HOTEL INDUSTRY LOOKS AHEAD TO 1992: RECESSION AND HOTEL TAXES ARE MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCKS

 HOTEL INDUSTRY LOOKS AHEAD TO 1992:
 RECESSION AND HOTEL TAXES ARE MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCKS
 NEW YORK, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- A recently completed survey by the New York City Hotel Association shows some surprising agreement among the city's top hotel executives, on what dragged the industry down to its lowest level in 16 years last year, and what's needed to rejuvenate it in 1992.
 All those surveyed said the triple whammy of the Gulf War, the recession, and the high New York City hotel tax, conspired to drop the 1991 hotel occupancy rate to 69 percent, the lowest rate since 1975. Not surprisingly, those same hotel executives are only moderately optimistic for a turnaround in 1992.
 Though there is no expectation of another Gulf War, the city's top hoteliers are not convinced the recession is over, and they are not optimistic that what they consider the onerous 21.25 percent tax on every hotel room will soon be reduced. They do think that business will pick up in the summer of 1992, anchored by the Democratic Convention, however, they are concerned that the high hotel tax will reduce the rate of referrals by conventioneers when they get back home.
 In releasing the survey, Joseph E. Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York, said, "Clearly, New York City is still a great place for visitors, but according to our survey, there is much the city and state can do to protect its $5 billion dollar tourism industry from further erosion. Reducing the hotel room tax is number one on that list."
 The survey also indicated that tourists to New York City will continue their 1991 trend of looking for the best bargains. The competition among the city's hotels to attract the value conscious visitor resulted in the largest drop in the price of an average daily room in the 40 years these statistics have been kept. According to the accounting firm Pannell, Kerr, Foster, the average New York City hotel room cost $126 a night in 1991 compared to $131.15 in 1990.
 The survey also indicates that many of the top city hotel managers will increase their marketing efforts overseas, especially if the dollar continues to drop in value. The primary markets of Japan, U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain along with secondary markets of Mexico, South America and Canada boosted a return to normal occupancy levels in the last quarter of 1991.
 Established in 1878, the Hotel Association of New York City is one of the nation's oldest trade associations representing more than 100 of the city's finest hotels. The $5 billion industry employs more than 30,000 people and provides more than 50,000 rooms to visitors.
 -0- 12/31/91
 /CONTACT: Chris Godek or Patty Lisa of Berman/Godek Communications, 212-832-8858, for the Hotel Association of New York City/ CO: Hotel Association of New York City ST: New York IN: LEI SU:


JT -- NY027 -- 5899 12/31/91 13:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 31, 1991
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