In this weeks column in the Winnipeg Free Press I published the answere to a question I received about hotel prices in Canada given that fact Canada has not seen the hoped for upswing in US visitors as a result of a still stagnant economy.

In doing my research I found the results of a study undertaken by

According to research undertaken by the online agency, the average hotel room rate fell by eight per cent last year.

Called the Hotel Price Index, the study clearly spoke to the fact corporate travellers have not yet returned to the travel patterns of previous years.

The highest average prices in the country were in Quebec City and Halifax, not seen as major corporate destinations. Toronto, traditionally an extremely strong market serving corporate meetings and conferences, showed an average room rate of only $135, eighth on their list.

Likewise, other primarily tourist destinations like Lake Louise and Mont Tremblant were the most expensive.

This may bode well for the tourist industry this year, which has benefited from Canadians being willing to take vacations in their own country even as U.S. and overseas visitations were down.

There is some speculation hotel prices will go up this year. There may be optimism at the present time and, as long as forward bookings hold, new higher prices will stay. But should occupancy levels not meet expectations, the usual price war that comes in periods of tough economies will likely surface full-blown again.