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Special Guest Post by Everybody Loves Coupons: Hotels Encourage Valentine's Day Getaways

Time to git yr learnin on! Everybody Loves Coupons, of UltimateCoupons.com fame, is a blog about, what else, coupons: how to use 'em, where to get 'em, and saving serious cash with 'em. But lurking inside this unassuming blog are some surprisingly well-researched and interesting articles about the economy, seasonal trends, and our future as a society. So take a gander and you can easily say, "Hey Ma! I's smart!"

Coming off a dismal year in which vacancy rates soared, the hotel industry is hoping to get 2010 off to a good start with bargains on weekend getaways timed for Valentine's Day. Hotels are in a promotional mood after a difficult year in 2009. According to Smith Travel Services, occupancy rates at U.S. hotels fell 8.3 percent as the recession forced cutbacks in both business and leisure travel. Occupancy rates for the year averaged 55 percent and are expected to inch up to just 57.2 percent by the end of 2011. The decline forced hotels in most cities to cut rates in an effort to attract travelers, with major destinations like Las Vegas and New York City leading the way.

Smith Travel is expecting business to remain essentially flat in 2010 - it's forecasting a decline of 0.2 percent for the year - and that means hotels will have to work hard once again. But that's good news for bargain hunters looking for inexpensive weekend getaways, particularly since Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year. [Read more...]

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