Edinburgh hotel staff friendlier than in Glasgow

HOTEL staff in Edinburgh are ranked above those Glasgow in a survey of the UK’s friendliest cities according to tourists.

Edinburgh's five star Balmoral Hotel. Picture: TSPL

Edinburgh hospitality workers were rated fifth friendliest in Britain, after Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff, while Glasgow – which is often singled out for its population’s positive attitude and prides itself on being “the Friendly City” – was two places lower.

The same report, from Hotel Info, found the UK to be the least friendly place in Europe for people to visit – joint bottom with Russia and well below neighbour Ireland, which scores 12th place on this list.

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“British politeness is renown-ed and recognised throughout the world. However even in the hotels the staff do not score highly in comparison with their European colleagues in respect of friendliness and willingness to be of help,” the report said.

“If the traveller is expecting the legendary British politeness the actual result is less than satisfactory.”

It added: “Hoteliers have realised that a friendly smile is more effective than a thousand words – and often means that minor complaints are forgotten by the guests. Thus a friendly and competent staff has become one of the most important criteria in evaluating a hotel.”

Finland was ranked top in Europe as having the most friendly and helpful hotel staff, followed by Germany and Austria.

At the bottom of the table for Europe is Denmark, which was given a rating of 7.98 out of ten by travellers, former communist nation Russia and the UK, both with a score of 7.92.

“Generally the friendliness and competence of hotel staff throughout Europe is evaluated as good and very good,” added the report.

In the UK-wide rankings, London scored low down the list at number ten, while Coventry and Birmingham also did badly.

Edinburgh residents are often known for their reserve and quiet welcome, while people from Glasgow are thought to be more outgoing and friendly.

Scotland’s biggest city prided itself on its hospitality and friendliness during last summer’s Commonwealth Games, when the city welcomed almost 700,000 visitors from all over the world, generating £282 million worth of tourism.

Many hotels in both Edinburgh and Glasgow have previously been praised for their friendliness and good customer service. Last year, Edinburgh’s Chesters Residence won the accolade of Traveller’s Choice hotel with exceptional service 2014, coming fourth out of thousands of UK contenders and 12th in Europe overall.

A spokesman for VisitScotland said: “Scotland is renowned for its hospitality, with research showing that nearly 90 per cent of visitors rate the country as having a warm welcome.

“It’s great to see both Edinburgh and Glasgow in the top ten UK cities for friendliness and competence of hotel staff.”

He added: “Customer service is absolutely crucial in encouraging both leisure and business visitors to come back to Scotland again and again.”