Bartholomew County’s total hotel room sales hit a record $31.1 million in 2015, a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase, according to a study for the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

The statistics are from a hotel revenue benchmarking report by Nashville-based STR Inc., reported during Wednesday’s annual meeting of the tourism agency by Cindy Waddle, president of the center’s board. About 85 people attended.

The STR report is a new, more detailed tool now used by the visitors center, she said.

“We already knew that 2015 was a strong year based on tax collections,” Waddle said. “But our STR report validated this and provided credibility to our pronouncements, as well as highlighted possibilities for the future.”

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.