by Michael J. Shapiro | May 25, 2011

 The U.S. hotel industry enjoyed a solid 7.9 percent year-over-year increase in revenue per available room for the month of April, according to data from Smith Travel Research, but perhaps more significant was the 2.8 percent hike in average daily rate. "As rates continue to rise," STR president Amanda Hite noted in a statement, "the gap between current levels and the peak levels of 2008 lessens. With the summer travel reason right around the corner, we expect to see even stronger performance gains across the board." The uptick resulted in an average daily rate of $100.55 for the month. April occupancy was up 4.9 percent over last year.