Occupancy levels down at city hotels

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HOTELS in Edinburgh suffered a “worrying” drop in occupancy rates last year, according to a new report that shows the Capital lagged behind rivals Aberdeen and Glasgow in the race to attract visitors.

Although occupancy and room rates across Scotland outstripped any other part of the UK in 2012, accountancy firm PKF said overall occupancy in the Capital dropped 2 per cent last year, compared with an increase of 0.8 per cent in Glasgow and a jump of 5.7 per cent in Aberdeen.

Alastair Rae, a partner at PKF, said hoteliers were being battered by an unforgiving economic storm. “With little sign of any improvement in the wider economy, it is likely we will see the same in 2013.”

City council economy convener Frank Ross said: “Occupancy figures tend to fluctuate from year to year and events such as the Olympics may have contributed. Long-term projections suggest that there will be an increase in 2013, in the run-up to events such as the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games. However, we will not be complacent and will continue to work to attract investment and tourism.”