SNP and Noel Gallagher boost Glasgow hotels

Nicola Sturgeon pictured at the SNP Party Conference in Glasgow in March. Picture: Robert Perry
Nicola Sturgeon pictured at the SNP Party Conference in Glasgow in March. Picture: Robert Perry
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THE SNP’s spring conference and concerts by Paloma Faith and Noel Gallagher helped Glasgow’s hotels reach their highest-ever occupancy rates for the month of March, according to new analysis.

Room occupancy in Scotland’s biggest city last month rose 5.7 per cent on the same time last year to reach a “whopping” 82 per cent, the study found.

“The 12 days of the Commonwealth Games have translated into 15 consecutive months of growth in Glasgow”

Scott Taylor

Demand for rooms was higher than in Edinburgh and Aberdeen in March, according to tourism and hospitality analysts LJ Research.

City officials said the figures pointed to a continuing legacy from Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

LJ’s latest monthly report tracked city centre hotel performance in Scotland’s three largest cities.

Overall, it found that the average cost of a room was down in all three cities when contrasted with the previous year.

But with a drop of just 0.5 per cent to about £69, Glasgow in some ways “bucked the trend”, with its fall in average room rates happening at a much slower rate compared to the other cities.

The industry measure of revenues per available room, known as RevPar, was up more than 5 per cent in a year in Glasgow to reach £56.45.

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) believes March’s visitor influx can be attributed to a number of events and conferences which took place in the city throughout the month.

This included the annual congress of the European Atherosclerosis Society and the Scottish National Party’s spring convention, which collectively brought more than 4,000 delegates to Glasgow.

Disney on Ice and Premier League Darts at the SSE Hydro, as well as performances by Usher, Paloma Faith, Lionel Ritchie, Noel Gallagher and Morrissey, and the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden, all helped to boost occupancy in the city.

GCMB chief executive Scott Taylor said: “The 12 days of the Commonwealth Games have translated into 15 consecutive months of growth in Glasgow with some of the highest occupancy rates on record in the city.

“This is the legacy of the Games, which will be felt in Glasgow for the next decade.

“Our research shows that occupancy in Glasgow last month was the strongest of any major city in the UK and Europe.”

Despite the ongoing oil price rebound, demand for accommodation in Aberdeen continued to decline, the study found.

Occupancy fell to 67.6 per cent, down 8 per cent compared to March 2014 and average room rates fell 3.2 per cent to reach £93.30.

Average room rates in Edinburgh decreased by 4 per cent in March 2015 compared to March 2014 to just over £83.