With the lodging industry headed toward recovery from its three-year slump, hotel rates are likely to increase in 2004, according to Bjorn Hanson, global lodging analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Speaking at the Professional Convention Management Association's annual meeting in January, he projected an average room-rate increase of about 2 percent for 2004 and 3 percent next year. Average room occupancy rate is expected to go from 59.3 percent in 2003 to 61.2 percent in 2004, while ...

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