If early months of 2023 are any indication, Sault Ste. Marie's hospitality trade could be looking at a banner year.
Occupancy and accommodation tax reports compiled by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie show activity during each of the first three months of 2023 exceeded pre-pandemic levels and topped any of the past five years for the same periods.
In January, traditionally the slowest month of the year, 42.6 per cent of local rooms were occupied, compared to 38.0 per cent in the pre-COVID year 2019.
In February, the occupancy rate was 52.8 per cent, compared to 48.1 per cent in 2019.
Sault Ste. Marie charges a four per cent municipal accommodation tax (MAT) on all accommodations fewer than 30 consecutive days, including hotels, motels, motor hotels, lodges, inns, resorts, bed and breakfasts or any other place an accommodation is provided.
MAT collections in March totalled $93,064, up from $ 61,778 in 2019.
The upswing in industry performance began one year ago and has continued in spite of chaotic conditions at Canadian airports during last year's summer and winter holiday seasons, including widespread flight cancellations and reports of missing baggage.