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More travelers elected to spend the night in Southern Oregon and spent more for lodging in April, according to the latest figures compiled by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn.

Room demand in the five-county region rose 6 percent to 129,523 rooms last month and revenue rose 6.7 percent to just more than $9 million. Southern Oregon's April average room rate of $69.80 lagged most other regions in the state, except for the Eastern Oregon region, but surpassed its four-month average of $67.83.

Through the first four months of the year, Southern Oregon's 42.9 percent occupancy is up by 6.5 percent from 2010. Room demand posted a 5.8 percent gain, while revenue was up 5.3 percent. Room revenue through April for the region was $29.9 million.

Freight activity at the Medford airport showed its ninth-straight year-over-year gain in April.

Shipping has trended up, increasing in 12 of the past 14 months. A total of 436,476 pounds were handled by air freight firms last month, up 1 percent from 431,973 pounds a year earlier.

For the year, cargo activity is 7.3 percent ahead of 2010. Incoming packages slightly outweigh outgoing freight. Shipping at the Jackson County-operated airport declined annually from 2005, when nearly 8.5 million pounds were handled, through 2009, when activity dropped to 5.1 million pounds, before rebounding slightly last year.

Compiled from staff reports

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