Marriott hikes rates

Room rates at Marriott International’s North American hotels rose for the first time in two years during the month of May, another sign that the lodging industry is creeping out of its slump.

Room rates for Marriott’s company-operated properties in North America in May rose 1 percent against year-ago period. Revenue per available room rose 9 percent during this same month.

In the second quarter, which runs from March 27 to June 18, rates were flat compared with the same period a year ago, while revPAR rose 7.3 percent.

There is growing optimism in the lodging industry that fundamentals are not only on the mend, but improving at a pace much quicker than expected. Last year, the hotel industry saw revPAR slump an unprecedented 16.7 percent.

Bookings have increased at high-end and luxury properties and top markets such as New York City have been better able to raise prices, analysts and executives have said.

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