PWC data shows hotel occupancy up in 05

Hotel occupancy in the U.S. crept up to nearly 65% in 2005, surpassing the 63.5% average occupancy rate during the past 25 years, according to new data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

The study, PWCs 10th annual Lodging Industry Briefing, combines data from PWC and Smith Travel Research.

Lodging demand -- measured by average daily room nights sold -- and revenue per available room suffered a post-9/11 downturn but have been trending upward since late 2003, according to the data.

PWC cited the introduction of luxury hotel brands this year. Eight luxury brands (Capella, Gansevoort, Graves Hotels, LXR Hotels, Montage, Solis, Taj and Twelve Hotels) and four upscale brands (Alden Hotels, Aloft, Aqua Boutique Hotels and NYLO) were announced or introduced to the U.S. in 2005.

Hurricane Katrina also affected hotels. In September nearly 42,000 rooms were closed, and almost 97% of the hotels in New Orleans French Quarter were shuttered.

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For more on the study, see the Dec. 19 issue of Travel Weekly.

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