Charleston County hotels, buoyed by January’s Republican presidential primary run-up and the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island in August, ended 2012 with more heads in beds than the previous year.

For all of 2012, the county’s hotels registered an occupancy rate of 70.5 percent, up from 0.8 percent over 2011, according to the Office of Tourism Analysis at the College of Charleston.

The average daily room rate also surged to $123.40, an increased of 5.2 percent for the year. And revenue per available room also rose to $88.14, up 6 percent over 2011.

For the year, West Ashley posted the largest increases in occupancy, up 3.8 percent, and revenue per available room, up 8 percent, while East Cooper enjoyed the largest increase in average daily rates, up 6 percent, according to Perrin Lawson, deputy director of Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Peninsular Charleston, where nearly 1,500 new hotel rooms are either being built or planned, reported the highest occupancy rate for the year of 79.9 percent.

As for December, generally a slower time of year in the tourist trade, occupancy rose year over year for the month by 2 percent in hotels across the county to 48.3 percent, with 2,600 more room nights sold in December over the same month a year earlier. The average daily rate increased to $107.66, up 0.9 percent, while revenue per available room went up 2.1 percent to $52.33.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or