U.S. hotels' revenue will grow faster this year than previously expected, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said on Tuesday.

PwC said high demand from groups and business travelers will more than offset the effect of a weak economy.

U.S. revenue per available room (RevPAR) will increase 7.2% this year on a 4.6% rise in room rates and a 1.5-point gain in occupancy.

PwC in June forecasted a 6.5% RevPAR increase for 2012.

High-end hotels are expected to continue to lead the advance, reflecting an economy in which larger businesses and wealthier leisure travelers appear to be less impacted by financial uncertainty.

“With occupancy surpassing recent prior peak levels in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale segments, the lodging recovery is intact," said Scott Berman, PwC principal and U.S. industry leader for hospitality and leisure.

PwC maintained its 2013 RevPAR growth forecast of 5.6%. By next year, PwC forecasts U.S. hotel occupancy will reach 61.9%, marking the fourth straight annual increase and the highest occupancy rate since it reached 62.8% in 2007.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.


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