Orlando’s hotel occupancy rate was best in the nation in June, thanks to a boost from the Memorial Day weekend opening of Disney’s Pandora — The World of Avatar and Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Orlando’s occupancy rate of 78.9 percent blasted the national June average of 73.4 percent. The last highest occupancy rate for local hotels was 82.2 percent in 1997, according to STR, which tracks hotel industry data.

The area’s average daily room rate last month grew 11.5 percent to $91.39. The national average rate for June was $129.12.

The Orlando hotel market includes Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice president for lodging insights, said she was surprised by the strength in room demand.

“The industry sold more room nights than any other June on record and achieved a record occupancy level for the month,” Freitag said. “As long as unemployment numbers remain low, and modest but healthy economic growth remains the norm, the hotel industry will continue to benefit.”

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