Ottawa tourism figures expected to remain flat until 2017
Numbers expected to remain flat until Canada's 150th anniversary, industry leaders say
It's been a relatively flat summer for tourism in Ottawa, and some industry leaders say they're not expecting growth until Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017.
Hotel occupancy rates from April through to June are unchanged compared with the same time last year, though there was a large increase in June alone.
"I think all of those contributed to a wonderful June."
At the end of 2013, the Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association predicted 2014 would be a challenging year for business. President Steve Ball says it's been varied so far. Some hoteliers reported a summer increase, and others a decline.
"We're expecting a very flat year compared to last year, and likely won't see any strong growth in 2015 or 2016," Ball said.
Despite efforts to draw business from the United States and European, Ball said, he doesn't expect to see significant growth until 2017, when the country celebrates its 150th birthday.
Van Kregten agrees.
"Ottawa will own that year. That will be our break-out year. Of course the entire country will celebrate ... but the place to be really celebrate will be the capital, and that's Ottawa," she said.