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Forecast: Hotel industry projected to grow this year and next

U.S. hotel occupancy rates are projected to grow about 2 percent through 2015, while room rates should increase by 8.5 percent over the two-year span, according to a recent forecast from STR Inc. and Tourism Economics.

That’s even as supply is predicted to grow by nearly 3 percent through 2015.

“Supply growth is accelerating but it’s nothing to worry about at this point,” said Amanda Hite, COO and president of STR, a Tennessee-based hotel consulting and research firm.

The expectation is that U.S. hotel occupancy will grow to 63.1 percent this year and 63.5 percent in 2015, and average daily rates will climb to $115 this year and $119.93 next year. Revenue per available room is projected to grow to $72.55 this year and $76.13 next year, according to STR.

That could be good news for Central Pennsylvania, where rates have been climbing. First-quarter numbers were strong.

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