Los Angeles County visitors paid an average of $126.87 to spend a night in a hotel room this April, up nearly 10 percent from what they paid the same month last year but down from the $128.15 average in March, according to data released Tuesday by PKF Consulting.

Occupancy at county hotels also rose, but at a lower average increase of 3.5 percent to 76.1 percent. That also was down slightly from the March figure of 76.3 percent. Downtown and Hollywood hotels saw the steepest year-over-year occupancy rate increases, at 15.9 percent and 11.9 percent respectively.

All of the county submarkets saw room rate increases in April. Beverly Hills led all with a 16.3 percent year-over-year average room rate increase, to $305.47 in April, while the Whittier/I-5 Corridor area saw the smallest rate jump at 5.4 percent to $81.39.

Hotels in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, South Bay and Marina Del Rey saw their average occupancy rates drop this April from the same month last year. However, none of these submarkets experienced an occupancy rate slide of greater than 3 percent.

The monthly report also analyzed the effect of the rise in the price of oil on hotels, concluding it is neither greatly increasing utility costs or reducing the number of travel trips. PKF predicts a strong summer travel season that will cause the greatest demand for hotel rooms since 2000.

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