by Michael J. Shapiro | December 01, 2010

An updated U.S. lodging industry forecast reflects improved numbers for 2010 and 2011. "[This] has been a better year than anyone expected in January," said STR president Mark Lomanno in a statement. "Demand has been a pleasant surprise, and it really is the driver behind the kind of year we've experienced." STR's latest outlook for 2010 indicates a rise in occupancy of 5.3 percent (to 57.4 percent) and a similar jump in revenue per available room (up 5.2 percent, to $56.23). Average daily rate should remain essentially flat, with a 0.1 percent decrease, to $97.92. The 2011 numbers are expected to increase: STR is projecting a 1.6 percent jump in occupancy, a 3.9 percent rise in average daily rate and a RevPAR increase of 5.5 percent.