by MIchael J. Shapiro | March 28, 2012

 Gains in occupancy and average daily rate contributed to a 7.7 percent year-over-year jump in revenue per available room for February, according to U.S. lodging statistics just released from STR. Occupancy rose 3.5 percent over February 2011, while average daily rate shot up 4.0 percent for the month. Houston and Nashville posted the largest U.S. occupancy increases, with gains of 11.9 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively. Monthly gains across the Americas region were similarly strong, with a 3.1 percent jump in occupancy, 3.8 percent rise in average daily rate and a 7.0 percent RevPAR increase. Double-digit rate increases were posted in the San Francisco/San Mateo, Calif. (+16.1 percent), and in New Orleans (+14.5 percent) in the U.S., and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (+50.6 percent), Sao Paulo, Brazil (+15.8 percent) and Santiago, Chile (+10.0 percent) elsewhere in the Americas.