January 22nd, 2014 3:17 PM by Brent Ferry
The Orlando hotel industry can breathe easy: The recession is a thing of the past.
The region's hotels reported a 2013 occupancy of 71.6 percent — a five-year high compared to 62.2 percent occupancy reported in 2009, according to Smith Travel Research.
Other hotel industry indicators — average daily room rates and revenue per available room — were also a new five-year high for Orlando.
Average daily room rates in Orlando reached $145.09 per room last year, up from $137.39 in 2009. Also, revenue per available room was $103.85 last year, a significant improvement from $85.45 in 2009.
"Central Florida's hospitality industry is leading the Greater Orlando economy back to pre-recession status. 2014 should continue the trend, and another positive year is anticipated," said Rich Maladecki, president and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association.