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by Michael J. Shapiro | February 01, 2012

 Steady increases are expected for the U.S. hotel industry in 2012 and 2013 despite general economic challenges, according to the most recent forecast from STR and Tourism Economics. The forecast predicts occupancy will rise just 0.5 percent this year, to 60.4 percent, and that average daily rate will grow by 3.8 percent, to $105.45. Revenue per available room is expected to increase by 4.3 percent, to $63.68. Demand should outpace supply, with increases of 1.3 percent to 0.8 percent, respectively. “We believe that given how well the hotel industry did during 2011, it will be difficult in 2012 to show significant growth,” said STR co-founder and chairman Randy Smith in a statement. “However, we remain optimistic the industry will continue to report modest increases in 2012." Average daily rate and RevPAR are expected to grow a bit more in 2013, with increases of 4.4 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, while occupancy is expected to grow again by 0.5 percent.