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by Michael J. Shapiro | January 25, 2012

This past year was the first since 2008 that the U.S. hotel industry reported an average occupancy rate greater than 60 percent and an average daily rate of more than $100, according to 2011 figures just released by STR. Overall, occupancy grew by 4.4 percent in 2011, to 60.1 percent, while the average daily rate increased by 3.7 percent, to $101.64. Revenue per available room was up by 8.2 percent, to $61.06. Demand grew by 5 percent, while supply was up by just 0.6 percent. Calling 2011 a strong year, Randy Smith, co-founder and chairman of STR, noted, "Room-supply growth continued to drift downward as room demand reached record levels during the year. Though occupancy and ADR were still below 2007 and 2008 levels, it was still encouraging to see the industry experience a solid rebound during a period of considerable economic difficulties." That strong performance will make year-over-year comparisons in 2012 tough to follow, added Smith, but nevertheless STR is forecasting modest gains in occupancy and stronger room-rate increases for this year, as well as overall RevPAR growth of 4.3 percent.