Hotel data provider STR and Toursim Economics have upgraded their 2014-15 hotel forecast, based in part on a surge in second-quarter demand and improving group business. "It is a great sign for the industry that group bookings have returned and are now complementing the already very strong transient room demand," said Jan Freitag, senior VP of strategic development at STR. "We expect pricing power to remain firmly in operators' hands." Overall demand grew by 4.5 percent in the second quarter, resulting in a projected 3.6 percent demand growth for 2014. The forecast also calls for an increase of 2.6 percent to 2014 occupancy, to 63.8 percent. Average daily rate is now expected to grow by 4.2 percent for the year, to $115.02, and revenue per available room by 6.9 percent, to $73.37. Looking ahead to 2015, the forecast predicts an additional 0.7 percent rise in occupancy, a 4.4 percent increase in average daily rate and 5.2 percent RevPAR growth, along with a demand increase of 2.1 percent and just a 1.3 percent increase in supply.