Outlook bright for Scottish hotels

Sector shows signs of returning to pre-recession performance

 Edinburgh was the top Scottish city for hotel occupancy and rooms yield.
Edinburgh was the top Scottish city for hotel occupancy and rooms yield.

SEVERAL months of growth for Scotland’s hotels sector could be a sign that the industry is returning to its pre-recession performance.

The most recent figures released by business consultancy firm BDO LLP show Scotland’s year-on-year occupancy rate and rooms yield, the industry figure for revenue, continued to grow in the month of July.
Scotland’s average hotel revenue increased to £64.97 – the highest revenue figure in the UK by some way and a 16.8% increase on the £55.64 posted for July 2012.
England had the second highest hotels revenue growth of the home nations with an increase of 2.4% for July (to £45.22) with Wales up 0.2% to £38.68.
Edinburgh showed the strongest performance of Scotland’s cities with revenue growth of 32.3% taking the city to a rooms yield of £86.84 beating 2007’s pre-recession rooms yield of £81.69. The occupancy rate in the capital was up 12.3% in July to 90.9%.
Strong revenue and occupancy figures were also recorded for Aberdeen and Inverness.
Rooms yield in Aberdeen rose 22.7% to £73.12 in July as occupancy climbed 4.3% to 83.5%; and Inverness saw an 8.3% rise in revenues to £67.62, while occupancy increased 7.7% to 90.4%.
BDO credited conference activity with boosting revenue in the granite city while the growth recorded in Inverness and Edinburgh was attributed to an increase in tourism.
However, the figures show it was a different story for Glasgow’s hotels.
Described by BDO as a market which is heavily influenced by conference and events business, Glasgow recorded a 1.9% drop in revenues in July to £48.79, despite a 1.7% increase in occupancy rates to 8.4%.
Alastair Rae, a partner in the property, leisure and hospitality sector at BDO, described the figures as “very positive overall”.
He said the continued growth “would tend to support the view being aired that the sector is returning to its pre-recession performance”.
“While some of the figures are now higher than July 2007 it should be remembered that inflation and rising wage and operating costs will have reduced the benefit of current higher revenue figure,” said Rae.
“Nevertheless, the good news is that the data seems to be pointing in the right direction.”