If the hotel occupancy rates so far this year are anything to go by, the Calgary Stampede may struggle to match its usual 1.2 million attendance figure.

"Our occupancy numbers to the end of April, which is the latest figures we have, show that the hotels are off about 11 per cent for the year so we are concerned about that," said Tourism Calgary's Aldon Wells.

While Wells expects the Stampede to suffer a slight drop in attendance this year, he pointed to a $2-million marketing strategy aimed at pulling in more 'rubber tire' traffic to the city as a possible boost.

The marketing campaign is being paid for by a federal cash given to the Stampede as part of a fund to attract international tourists to marquee events. The money has been used to market the event in three U.S. states, as well as B.C. and Saskatchewan.

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