One of the worst hit industries during the recession was tourism. When times get tough, one of the easiest expenses to cut out of your budget is travel. That goes for leisure and business. But Calculated Risk has a chart based on HotelNewsNow.com's weekly occupancy numbers indicating that the industry could be getting back on track (click on it for full size):

calculated risk hotel occ 2010-03.jpg

There's a definite positive trend there developing for 2010, according to the 52-week rolling average (red line). Eyeing the graph, it looks like the industry hasn't seen a vacancy increase this steep since at least 2006. It's still only around 55%, however. As you can see that remains lower than any time shown prior to 2009. Though, I should note, that this upswing is also despite the awful weather that we've had for most of 2010 and in late 2009.

Clearly, the hospitality industry can't celebrate this quite yet -- it's still got a ways to go. But this trend looks to be another piece of evidence confirming that a recovery is taking hold. If people are traveling more, then consumer sentiment and business must be improving.

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