NO BARGAINING CHIP: SLIGHT DROP IN OCCUPANCY, BUT NOT FOR MEETING HOTELS

Although overall occupancy rates for U.S. hotels will decrease slightly this year for the first time since 1991, the change will have little impact on the meeting business, says Dr. Bjorn Hanson, chairman of Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P.'s national hospitality consulting practice.

Coopers & Lybrand predicts an overall occupancy rate of 65.9 percent for 1997, a slight drop from the 66 percent it forecasted for 1996. Room starts in 1996 totaled 102,000, the highest since 1989. "The o

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