Charleston County hotels had an occupancy rate of 73.5 percent in October, a 5.1 percent increase from the same time last year.

Occupancy rates help measure the health of the hotel industry. Monthly reports by the Smith Travel Research agency and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau have shown that business has been good for Lowcountry hotels so far this year.

From January to October, county hotels have seen a 1.1 percent growth in occupancy compared to the same stretch a year ago.

“October proved to be another outstanding month for hotel performance,” said Perrin Lawson, deputy director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotels in Charleston County sold 25,000 more rooms last month than in October 2012, despite the fact that rooms were more expensive this year. The average daily rate of hotel rooms in the area grew by 3.3 percent.

West Ashley hotels led the pack of hotel markets in the county last month with an occupancy rate of 84.7 percent, a 7.8 percent jump up from last year.

However, North Charleston saw the strongest growth in occupancy in the county for the second consecutive month. Its occupancy rate of 74.9 percent last month was 14.5 percent stronger than October 2012. North Charleston has the most hotels, with 7,182 rooms.

Hotels on the peninsula filled fewer rooms last month compared to a year ago, reporting a 4 percent fall in occupancy. Those hotels didn’t sell as many rooms in September, either. The occupancy rate fell 0.6 percent compared to September 2012.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail