NO hotel occupancy up a bit in January

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans-area hotels recorded a year-over-year increase in occupancy in January.

Smith Travel Research said that the 60.3 percent occupancy rate was up from 56.7 percent in January 2011.

CityBusiness of New Orleans (http://bit.ly/AiqHKX ) reports it was the eighth highest occupancy rate among the top 25 markets tracked by Smith. Oahu, Hawaii, had the highest rate at 87 percent, while the Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Va., area had the lowest at 36.2 percent.

The national occupancy rate for January was 49.4 percent, up from 47.6 percent a year ago. The average nightly room rate nationally was a tad over $100.

The New Orleans area includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John and St. Tammany parishes.

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Information from: New Orleans CityBusiness, http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com