Accommodation in Canberra to be tight as Obama visits

10:19, March 17, 2010      

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Australian federal parliamentarians, along with art-loving tourists, could be forced to take a back seat to the U.S. President Barack Obama next week when he visits Canberra three days later than planned.

The Canberra Times reports on Wednesday the White House confirmed on Tuesday Obama's rescheduled trip to the region would go ahead, culminating in the President addressing the Australian Parliament on Friday, March 26.

But his huge entourage, expected to number more than 500, will get accommodation preference over Australian MPs (Members of Parliament) and senators returning to Canberra for the presidential speech.

And tourists flocking to the capital to see the Masterpieces from Paris art exhibition at the National Gallery could similarly miss out on a bed.

The Australian Hotels Association said there were still some rooms left in Canberra for next week but visitors would need to act quickly to secure them.

Australian Capital Territory branch manager Steven Fanner said all the competing events in Canberra meant accommodation was going to be tight.


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