Scots hotels outstrip rest of UK in 2013

Scottish hoteliers should be rubbing their hands as new figures show that performances from hotels in Aberdeen and Edinburgh have outstripped the rest of the UK.

Zolfo Cooper’s Q4 Hotel Bulletin examined 2013 as a whole and found growth across the market in Scotland. Hotels in Aberdeen showed a revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of 19%, the best in the UK, whilst Edinburgh grew at 9%, a performance only bettered by Aberdeen.

Iain Watson, joint Vice-Chair of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotel Association and General Manager of the Park Inn comments, “2013 was a very good year. From a corporate perspective, the energy industry is massive but the leisure industry picked up in 2013 and moving into 2014 this looks set to continue. It’s fair to say that in terms of weekend rates, Aberdeen is one of the best priced cities in Scotland, if not the UK.”

John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh also expected Edinburgh to continue this positive trend in 2014, John told Dram, “The substantial rise in Edinburgh’s RevPAR last year is great news for our hotels and the city overall. Buoyed by the likes of high hotel occupancy and forward bookings, record Edinburgh Airport passenger figures and increased footfall within the city centre and its attractions, we expect this positive trend to continue, as the economy recovers.”

Meanwhile Glasgow also showed growth, but at one of the lowest levels in the UK growing only at 3%.

Former chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association and Carlton George General Manager, Duncan Johnston believes Edinburgh’s share of the tourist market accounts for their growth outstripping Glasgow. He said, “I’m surprised growth was so low because I felt we had a good year. Edinburgh always attracts visitors and Aberdeen has a small amount of hotels to meet the demand. 2014 will be a better year for Glasgow.”

Of course with Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the hotel industry in the city will be expected to boom. Glasgow is not alone though as the country plays host to the Ryder Cup, the worlds third biggest sporting event, and with Visit Scotland’s 2014 Homecoming event Scottish hoteliers seem rightly confident that they can capitalise on the success of 2013 and grow further this year. Graeme Smith, Head of Hotels at Zolfo Cooper said, “In the absence of external shocks the outlook for 2014 is good.”