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by Michael J. Shapiro | October 12, 2011

 Demand for U.S. hotel rooms this summer grew by 4.2 percent over last year, exceeding the 2.5 percent increase projected by Smith Travel Research. The months of June, July and August saw a 3.5 percent increase in occupancy, a 3.7 percent average daily rate hike and 7.3 percent growth in revenue per available room. "We continued to underestimate the overall strength of room night demand in the hotel industry this summer," said STR COO Brad Garner. The total revenue of $31.2 billion exceeded last year’s take by 8.1 percent.