Hotel room for improvement in Edinburgh

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EDINBURGH is one of only a handful of European cities which are expected to enjoy robust growth in hotel occupancy in 2013, a report published today shows.

Accountancy firm PwC said hotels in the Scottish capital should enjoy a 4 per cent increase in revenue per available room – a key industry metric known as “revpar”.

London, by contrast, is forecast to see falling revpar as it faces tough comparisons after the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee provided a large one-off boost to the city’s hospitality industry last year. Despite coming down from its 2012 high, absolute trading and profitability levels should remain high for London hotels.

Bruce Cartwright, partner at PwC in Scotland, said Scottish tourism continues to benefit from the “staycation” trend of last year.

“We saw a strong first half to the year, and while the dismal weather contributed to a tougher summer than normal, there is an expectation of a pick-up towards the end of the year,” he said.

PwC’s 2013 forecast is set against a challenging backdrop with overall growth in the hotel sector expected to slow due to the prolonged economic downturn. Although the hotel sector in most European cities has proved “remarkably resilient” and many cities enjoyed higher revpar, that is not forecast to be repeated in 2013.

The firm says enterprising hoteliers can beat the trend by courting budget conscious customers with schemes such as reward and loyalty programmes.