SCOTLAND is becoming an “all year-round” destination fed by tourism, concerts, conferences and business activity, according to a leading commentator in the sector.
Alastair Rae, partner in hospitality at accountancy firm BDO, said latest figures from his firm’s monthly hotel survey are a positive reflection on the wider economy. Despite year-on-year declines in most instances, Scottish cities ranked among the highest in the UK in terms of occupancy and revenues.
“To have demand still in the 90s [per cent] in September is a mark of how important a destination Scotland remains both for business and leisure visitors,” Rae said.
Year-on-year occupancy dipped 1 per cent in Scotland but remained the highest overall at 87.3 per cent, ahead of Wales on 84.9 per cent and England on 83.8 per cent. Similarly, Scottish revenues fell by 11 per cent but remained at the top on £65.90, ahead of England in second on £55.51.
Edinburgh and Glasgow had the highest and second-highest occupancy of all cities in the UK, including London, at 92.1 and 91.6 per cent. Inverness saw an 8.8 per cent increase in revenues to £62.35.
“Aberdeen aside, the drop in revenue in Edinburgh and Glasgow is due to very high numbers last year when Edinburgh was basking in a late festival rush as well as multiple major conferences, while Glasgow was still on a post-Commonwealth Games high,” Rae said.
“Aberdeen is the exception and is still coming to terms with the fall in oil prices which make the hospitality sector highly vulnerable to price fluctuations. I would expect this situation to continue for some time.”
The survey covers a range of three and four-star hotels.