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by Michael J. Shapiro | October 03, 2012

 The U.S. hotel industry posted strong year-over-year increases in rate (up 4.4 percent) and revenue per available room (up 7 percent) for the summer months of June, July and August, according to lodging data provider STR. Occupancy increased as well, by 2.4 percent. "We continue to be surprised by the consistent growth in demand for hotel rooms," said Brad Garner, STR's COO, in a statement. "While the rate of growth in rooms sold is likely to taper, the industry continues to move into a favorable pricing position. The higher contribution of room rate to RevPAR should lead to higher profitability for the industry at large." The slow growth in supply ‚Äî just 0.5 percent for the summer ‚Äî was also a factor, as demand grew by 2.9 percent.