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MIAMI-The Palm Beach Tourist Development Council reports the recent recession that hit the South Florida industry since Sept. 11 may be over for at least some of the region.

.For the first time, hotel lodging revenue is up 1% to $23.9 million. The council’s report for June shows the bed tax also rose 1% for a record $957,355 in one month. Palm Beach County charges a 4% tax on every room sold.

Increasing revenue goes against some of the other statistics in the report. Rooms sold declined 14.7% to 248,426 and repeat visitors are down 13.4% from 82.5% in June 2001 to 69.1% for this June. Even the occupancy rate is down 2.1% to 61.1%. Despite this. daily rates have hedged up .9% to an average of $91.19.

The report says business travelers have been a key factor in the increased revenue. In a stagnant market, booking for business conference rooms and convention centers rose 5.5% to 37.8% in June.

“Surprisingly it’s not been leisure travelers, but corporate travelers that have helped,” Charles Lehmann, executive director of the Development Council, tells Globest.com. “Corporate travelers just don’t buy rooms, but they go to golf courses and restaurants.”

He says, “the fall looks very promising because of them.”

Unlike Miami-Dade, which depends on 55% of its travelers being international, Palm Beach foreign tourist are only 22%. Lehmann says all the signs point to continued growth.

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