BANGOR (AP) – A report by a national agency that tracks data for the Maine Innkeepers Association says hotel occupancy rates in the state declined 10 percent in September from the same month last year.

Greg Dugal, the association’s executive director, says September normally draws older visitors with discretionary income. But he indicates that the nation’s economic turmoil may have prompted some potential travelers to stay home.

Dugal and others say good weather, vibrant foliage and lower gas prices may have led to a rebound in the number of visitors in October. But they say the September decrease is still a problem.

Pat Eltman of the Maine Office of Tourism notes that 2007 was a banner year for tourism. She says tourist volume was down a little in September, but the 10 percent drop reported by Smith Travel Service for the innkeepers seems a little high.

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