Charleston's hotel industry remains strong amid continued growth, according to the latest report from the College of Charleston's Office of Tourism Analysis.

In May and June, 186 more rooms were on the market in Charleston County than a year earlier, bringing the total number to 16,177. But the number of nights sold was up 3.6 percent in May, 0.5 percent in June and 2.3 percent for the year.

The average daily room rate in June was $161.57, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier.

Occupancy was up 1.1 percent over the previous year through June, at 79.3 percent.

Beach business

Groups have booked more hotel rooms in Myrtle Beach this summer than any other beach city in the nation, according to HotelPlanner.

The website calls Myrtle Beach the nation’s top group-friendly beach destination.

From June through August 2017, HotelPlanner said it booked 16,628 travelers and 4,160 hotel rooms (with four people per room) in Myrtle Beach. This accounted for 64 groups that booked an average of 65 rooms per group.

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Myrtle Beach had 7.5 percent more people book group hotel rooms than San Diego, which was the second most popular beach vacation destination.

Separately, a mammoth oceanfront hotel in Myrtle Beach is at the halfway point.

Cumming Corp., the project manager that oversaw the construction of Buist Academy and James Simons Elementary School in Charleston, held a topping-off ceremony last week for the 19-story, 242-room South Bay Inn & Suites at Ocean Boulevard and 6th Avenue North.

Construction started a year ago. The hotel is expected to open summer 2018. It will include an exercise gym, game room, full-service bar area and sit-down restaurant, a waterpark with two slides, a lazy river, a water play area for children, a full-size pool and a pair of hot tubs.

The developer of the $50 million hotel is George Buchanan of Bayshore LLC.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.