THE United States hotel industry is a basket case with revenue per available room collapsing by -16.7% to just US$53.71 during 2009. STR Global research also shows average US occupancy fell 8.7% to 55.1% while average daily rate fell 8.8% to US$97.51. “Good riddance to 2009, a year which we believe will go down as the worst in the modern hotel industry,” said Mark Lomanno, president at STR. “I look for a significant improvement in 2010.” But it’s a long road back, highlighted by the fact STR was “encouraged” by weak December figures – occupancy 44.2%, REVpar US$41.46 – the apparent logic that the falls weren’t as dramatic as they had been. Everything is relative.