GROWING confidence in the economy has helped the Scottish hotels sector “turn a corner” as the latest data shows occupancy rates rising ahead of an expected “bumper summer”.
The monthly survey of three- and four-star hotels published by accountancy firm BDO shows Scotland enjoyed the highest occupancy and revenue levels in the UK during February.
Both measures showed healthy growth across the UK but even more north of the Border.
BDO’s property expert Alastair Rae said: “The whole of the UK experienced double-digit revenue growth but with Scotland starting from a higher base figure, the increase is really quite impressive for a time of year which can be relatively quiet.
“The hospitality sector is reflecting the upturn in the wider economy and, as confidence increases in the corporate and leisure markets, so spending on hospitality is increasing.”
Rooms yield – the industry measure of revenue – grew 11 per cent in Scotland to £45.65, and compared to £40.63 in the rest of the UK. Scottish occupancy stood at 70.3 per cent, compared to 69.8 per cent in the UK regions as a whole.
Rae added: “What now seems clear is that we have turned a corner and much of the doom and gloom which the hotel sector and the economy was facing in recent years is clearing and better times are on the horizon.
“With Scotland expecting a bumper summer season due to various world-class sporting events – Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games to name two – this could be the start of a great year for the hospitality sector.”