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NEW YORK CITY TOURISM, HOTEL RATES UP

Tourism is booming in New York City, and the boom is reflected in the hotel rates, which rise with the demand. A survey of hotels found the average daily rate for a room there in December rose to a record $230.90, climbing above the previous average high of $219.77, the month before.

The figures were compiled by PKF Consulting, which surveyed 63 city hotels with 33,791 rooms. For the 12 months ending in December, the average rate was $192.73, compared with $173.28 for 1996.

Even at record high rates, rooms in the most desirable hotels can be hard to find during peak periods. The New York Convention and Visitors Bureau has a peak-period hotel hot line; call (800) 846-7666. It also recently announced plans for a year-round booking service through (800) 915-9931.

The visitors bureau information number is (212) 484-1200. It also has information at www.nycvisit.com

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