He said corporate travel and incentive travel programs are improving, something that is helping lodging owners.
"We're not seeing enormous growth, but it is going in the right direction," said Johnson.
The average daily room rate for the year to date was $95.69, compared to $93.29 for 2010. Revenue per daily room rose as well, from $55.70 in 2010 compared to $60.04 for 2011.
Salt Lake City recorded the best in 2011, with a 69.6 percent occupancy rate and average daily room rate of $93.65.
By comparison, Utah mountain resorts struggled a bit, though they were still up from 2010. Mountain resorts averaged 47.4 percent occupancy per night in 2011, compared to 43.3 percent in 2010, while rates moved up only slightly, from $166.53 in 2010 to $167.53 in 2011.
Ogden occupancy was at 60.7 percent, Cedar City at 53 percent, St. George at 60.1 percent, Logan and Utah County at 58.1 percent, and other Utah cities and towns at 61.2 percent.
AAA releases prestigious diamond awards
The Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City and The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City earned Five Diamond Awards from AAA in ratings released Wednesday.
The diamonds are awarded to establishments that AAA says provide refined, stylish and upscale physical attributes to guests with extensive amenities and services. Restaurants are chosen for the distinctive dining experiences that feature creative chefs, complex menus, fresh top-quality ingredients and expert staffs.
They are based on the evaluations of professionally trained inspectors using published guidelines to conduct unannounced property evaluations.
Four Diamond hotels in Utah included Midway's Blue Boar Inn, Invited Inn Bed and Breakfast and Johnson Mill Bed and Breakfast; Midway's Zermatt Resort and Spa; Moab's Sorrel River Ranch Hotel and Spa Resort; Park City's Goldener Hirsch Inn, Grand Summit Resort Hotel, Hyatt Escala and St. Regis Deer Valley Resort; Salt Lake City's Hotel Monaco, Little America Hotel and Marriott City Center; and St. George's Green Valley Spa and Resort.
Utah restaurants given the AAA Four Diamond Award include the Midway's Blue Boar Inn; Orem's Chef's Table; Park City's Goldener Hirsch, Grappa Italian, River Horse on Main, The Glitretind, and the Mariposa; Sundance's The Tree Room; Salt Lake City's Bambara, Forage, Log Haven and Paris Bistro; and Sandy's La Caille.