Don Bauder 7:49 p.m., May 22
Local Tourism Keeps Rising
San Diego hotel occupancy through August continues to pick up, according to the latest data from Smith Travel Research. Year-to-date through August, occupancy at local lodging places was 71.5%, up from 69.1% for the same period last year. However, San Diego's occupancy rate trails the 79.2% of San Francisco, 73.5% of Los Angeles, and 73.3% of Orange County. San Diego's average room rate of $128.12 trails San Francisco's $149.58, but tops LA's $124.19 and Orange County's $114.67. "August of 2011 was a good month for most of the California major markets," says La Jolla hotel guru Jerry Morrison.