Growth in pub sector for first time in a decade

Things looking up in the trade

The Duchess in Glasgow is one of the properties Christie & Co sold in the course of 2019

SCOTLAND’S hospitality sector withstood a year of political turbulence and uncertainty in 2019 and remains a valuable asset to the economy, a recent report from property agent Christie & Co has confirmed.

The company’s Business Outlook 2020: Focus on Business report showed property transactions had increased throughout 2019 across a number of sectors in the trade, despite a lack of movement in independent business transactions due to Brexit uncertainty.

The pub sector had a positive year in terms of growth in 2019 and is said to be in a “strong position” for the coming year, according to the report.

ONS figures showed an increase in the number of UK licensed establishments for the first time in over a decade, amounting to more than £8 billion in market transactions in 2019.

Interest from international investors was a key factor in the surge in growth, the report claimed; beer was also highlighted as a dominant force in the trade in 2019.

Glasgow is said to be at the dawn of a hotel boom despite UK hotel prices growing by just 0.5% in 2019, the report claimed.

An additional 1500 rooms are expected to open in the city in 2020 – accounting for almost half of new hotel builds across Scotland in 2020.

Restaurant figures continued to fall last year with a 3.4% decline in the number of UK restaurant businesses in 2019, according to the report.

Large chains are dropping in popularity among consumers, and Christie & Co reckoned this has created an opportunity for local eateries and independent businesses to steal a march on larger groups.