It’s not even Christmas, but tourism officials in Alaska are worried about the low level of reservations in many sectors, including RV rentals, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

As of late November, RV rental reservations were off 46%, according to GMA Research, a firm hired by the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

The strong U.S. dollar, when compared with the Canadian dollar, is a major factor in the decline in reservations in Alaska, said Bob Dindinger, owner of RV rental firm Alaska Travel Adventures.

Tourists can rent an RV at the Canadian outpost of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, for about half of what it costs in Alaska, Dindinger said during a recent tourism conference.

Consequently. Dindinger is trying to sell some of his RV inventory because he believes the 2002 season will be very slow, especially in South-central and Interior Alaska, according to the Daily News.

Many of Dindinger’s customers are cruise ship passengers who rent RVs for on-shore excursions.

Because of the recession in the U.S., Dindinger believes many people still will take cruises, but will delete the RV excursion from their itinerary to cut costs.