Hotel booking report could boost boating

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Early hotel bookings indicate that the coming summer will be a busy one as families and business travelers are expected to hit the road in droves.

That's according to HotelNewsNow.com, which reported Tuesday that a forecast by the website's parent company, STR, predicts strong metrics for June, July and August. Not only is demand up, but most hoteliers also said pricing power has returned and they're finally able to push rates up without experiencing drops in occupancy.

Average occupancy rates are expected to be at 70 percent for June, July and August, up just 1 percent from last year, but the average daily rate is expected to be $112.21, up 4.4 percent from 2012, and the revenue per available room is expected to rise $78.50, up 5.4 percent from 2012.

Although occupancy is projected to be up slightly this June and July at Chesapeake Hospitality's 20-hotel management portfolio, the real movement will be in rates, executive vice president Joe Smith told the website — advanced booking rates are up 6 percent for the transient leisure business. He attributes that to travelers feeling confident and being more willing to spend money, as well as hotels' strategic effort to push rate.

Because many hotels and chains the website interviewed were part of coastal communities, the increased business could translate into a boost for the boating industry as well.

Click here for the full report.

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