San Diego Business Journal

San Diego was the fourth most popular destination for U.S. travelers in the first half of 2012, according to a recently released report by the travel booking website

The local region rose from fifth place a year ago in the annual Hotel Price Index report published by the Dallas-based company. A statement said San Diego ranked sixth in the 2010 report, based on hotel booking data.

The top three destinations in the latest report were Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando, unchanged from a year ago. San Diego ranked as the eighth most popular U.S. destination among international travelers.

San Diego’s average hotel price in the first half was up 6 percent from a year ago, to $135. California’s average price rose 7 percent, to $131.

Elsewhere in California, rates rose 5 percent in Los Angeles, to $145; 15 percent in San Francisco, to $175; and 15 percent in Santa Barbara, to $196.

The report said hotel prices in North America rose 5 percent in the first half compared with the same period a year ago. Rooms are still cheaper than in 2006 and below their peak prices of 2007. is among several sites owned by online travel booking and information provider Expedia Inc. The site’s twice-yearly Hotel Price Index tracks real prices paid per room by customers at approximately 140,000 properties worldwide.