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Unseasonable winter weather takes toll on tourism industry

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The unusual winter weather so far this season is impacting the tourism industry, with a significant number of businesses feeling the financial pressure.

"We're hearing of revenue losses from our members from snow resorts - as high as 50 per cent losses. So far, some operators are more optimistic than others that the season can be saved," said Jessica Ng with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

The ripple effect is in play with fewer people visiting the area.

Mother Nature's abnormal weather patterns have closed snowmobile trails, kept ice fishermen waiting at the shorelines, and left ski resorts struggling to get anyone out who isn't on a fat bike or snowshoes.

Kathleen Trainor with Tourism Barrie said hotel occupancy was "way down" over the typically busy holidays.

"People just didn't come up for the weekend holiday, the little, you know, two weeks, take the kids up to tube [and] stay overnight," Trainor said.

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario reports that about 45 per cent of Canadian tourism businesses have indicated they may close in the next three years due to the financial pressures of debt re-payments, the current weather impacts, inflation and labour shortages.

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