TORONTO - As the tourism industry across the country prepares for a sluggish season, many provinces are focusing on travel-weary Canadians and promoting vacations at home.

Bruce Sparkes, chairman of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, says the so-called staycation is becoming a popular concept and provinces are competing feverishly to win over Canadian tourists.

Don Boynton from Travel Alberta says he's anticipating a downward trend in international travel but he's optimistic about attracting people from Western Canada, especially for the summer's showcase event, the Calgary Stampede.

Alberta residents typically account for 50 per cent of the province's tourism dollars and that's encouraging to Boynton, who believes Canadians will be even more likely to explore their own backyards this summer.

But some tour operators in Vancouver say they're dependent on summer income and worry about losing international travellers visiting from the U.S. or Europe.

The world's airlines recently announced a collective loss of US$9 billion is expected this year and they're in the grips of the most difficult situation they've faced.