Several articles appeared recently in STR (Smith Travel Research) publications that we follow as part of our hospitality consulting services advising clients that suggest the hotel industry is showing more signs of improvement this fall and in the coming year. Some of the noteworthy commentary includes: Earnings Reports- In year-over-year measurements, the USA hotel industry’s occupancy was up 6.9% to 61.3%. Average daily rate ended the month with a 1.2% increase to US$100.89. Revenue per available room for the month rose 8.2% to finish at US$61.89. – In its latest revised forecast, 2010 qualifies as a successful year because there are indications that a recovery is in the offing. The biggest reason STR’s President shies away from saying a recovery is in full swing? The lack of growth in average daily rate. – According to other data, the U.S. hotel industry reported increases in all three key performance metrics during the week of November 13, 2010. View the full articles here: U.S. hotel industry posts October gains; STR’s revised forecast reflects demand spike; U.S. hotel occupancy up 11% in mid-November. One issue well worth noting from a hospitality consulting perspective is the tentative concern that room rate will not rise significantly in 2011. However, from a corporate and meeting standpoint, a hotel buyer’s market of the past two years increasingly morph into a seller’s market in 2012 through 2014. In essence from a hospitality consulting vantage point – consumers and business travelers will get less deals room rate wise as demand begins to grow at a much more even pace. Still, with national unemployment hovering at double-digits, this could easily turn into another year of last minute discounts and a hotel buyer’s market if an economic rebound stalls again.