Strong performance by Scottish hotels

CONTINUED investment in Glasgow and the strength of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen have helped boost the Scottish hotel sector this year, according to new figures from business advisory firm BDO.

The latest monthly hotel survey from the consultancy (which was previously known as PKF) showed Scottish hotel revenues increased by 0.9% in February, as UK revenues dipped by 0.1%.
Scottish occupancy figures for the month increased 0.3%.
Aberdeen hotels accounted for the largest increase in Scottish hotel revenues, according to the report, with rooms yield up 8.3% on the previous year.
In fact, Aberdeen is said to enjoy the highest rooms yield of any city outside London.
The average room revenue in Aberdeen was £64.69, which put the city in a group of only five towns and cities in the UK to achieve a figure above £50, – significantly ahead of Scotland’s other cities.
The average rooms yield in Edinburgh hotels was £43.01, with Glasgow close behind on £41.32.
“Clearly the buoyant oil price continues to support the granite city’s hospitality sector, ensuring it continues to put in a stellar performance,” said Alastair Rae, a partner in the property, leisure and hospitality sector at BDO.
Meanwhile, Glasgow was the only Scottish city to record growth in both hotel occupancy and revenue.
The average revenue from rooms across the city was up 4.9%, with occupancy climbing 3.9%.
Rae said the city’s “well organised and marketed conference and concert facilities” contributed to the performance.
Inverness hotels recorded a more modest revenue increase of 1.9%, while in Edinburgh, average revenues dipped 6.3%.
Rae said the poor performance of Edinburgh hotels was a cause for concern, and attributed the drop to factors such as poor weather and the ongoing disruption to the city’s roads.
“However, there may be an underlying change with the increasing presence of the budget hotels, which may be driving overall revenue downward whilst maintaining static occupancy,” he added.
Although average room revenues across Scotland increased between 2012 and 2013, Scottish hotels recorded the lowest occupancy in the UK, at 66.9%.
This compares to Wales, with hotel room occupancy at 70.2%, and English hotels which had an occupancy rate of 68.2%.
Budget hotels were the strongest performer in Scotland in terms of average room rate, according to the report.
The under £40 sector of the market increased revenues by 5.2% in the course of the year while occupancy climbed by 8.2%.
“The hotel sector remains fluid in Scotland with some areas doing better than others,” added Rae.
“This is to be expected from the early part of the year with the hope being that prices start to ease upward as the tourist season begins.”