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SAN DIEGO-San Diego County remains a popular destination for visitors–even as the rest of the nation is seeing a decline in travel, according to a report by Smith Travel Research.

The county’s hotel occupancy rate was 72.5% between January and May–up more than 1% over the same period last year–while average room rates were $112, up 5.3% from last year, according to the report.

In the US as a whole, occupancy in June fell 4% to 69.1%. Room rates were flat at $85.32.

Mark Lomanno, president of Smith Travel, says slower economic growth and persistent room supply increases have “combined to yield weak second-quarter performance for the US lodging industry.”

Nationally, occupancy was 64.7% for the second quarter of 2001, a decrease of 4.6% from the same quarter a year ago.

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