Albany hotel occupancy on the rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany hotel occupancy on the rise

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August 21, 2007

Albany -- Albany hotels and motels have seen a seven percent increase in occupancy in 2007 over the year before, bringing millions of extra dollars into the South Georgia economy.

Smith Travel Research reports that Albany motels and hotels had more than 62% of their rooms occupied in the first six months of the year.

Room revenue is up 11%, more than one and a half million dollars over 2006. June was an especially good month for Albany hotels.

Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau officials say that expanded advertising and marketing paid for by the increase in hotel tax from 5% to 7% has proved successful.

Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President Sara Underdown said "we have beefed up our marketing within a three to four hour drive. Primarily looking at over into Northern Alabama, Northern Florida, all the way up into Atlanta. We are trying to target families with children."

Underdown says family and class reunions, and sports events have brought thousands of visitors to Albany in 2007.

Researchers estimate that the Sports Marketing Council has brought in events with an economic impact of more of seven million dollars.

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