by Michael J. Shapiro | July 27, 2011

 The U.S. hotel industry posted solid year-over-year improvements in the second quarter, according to data released this week by Smith Travel Research. Occupancy was up by 4.5 percent, average daily rate grew by 3.5 percent and revenue per available room increased by 8.1 percent. RevPAR growth, while slightly lower than in the first quarter, was based on a tougher year-over-year comparison. “The second quarter was solid, reflecting continued improvement in the industry’s recovery cycle,” noted STR senior vice president Bobby Bowers in a statement. “In the second half of the year, we expect increased ADR contribution to RevPAR gains as occupancy growth settles to more sustainable levels and improved operator confidence translates into more aggressive pricing.”