Comment: There is still demand for accommodation

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The idea of yet another hotel opening in the city centre will prompt sighs in many quarters.

Not that there is anything wrong per se with turning the longstanding gap site near the City Arts Centre on Market Street into a boutique hotel.

The doorstep to Waverley Station is an ideal spot for accommodation for city visitors and it will be good to see something useful being done with that land after seeing it lie vacant for decades.

But there is a growing feeling after a rush of other hotel plans that the city already has more than enough hotels thank you very much.

Wouldn’t it be better if the land was used to build more affordable housing or a new music venue or community facility, are the questions that are always asked.

Of course there is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the Capital, and the city centre in particular, and more certainly needs to be done to tackle that.

But it makes little sense to turn away a £15 million investment that will create at least 75 local jobs in the hope that someone will suddenly pop up with the funds to build houses there.

The tourism industry is clear that there is still unmet demand for hotel accommodation in the Capital and it is in all our interests that this demand is met.

Tourism supports more than 30,000 jobs in Edinburgh – around one in eight local jobs – and draws in more than £1 billion of spending.

These new hotels will offer 
opportunities to our young 
people that some will not find elsewhere.

But the hotels bring so much more than the opportunity to work.

It is the spending they attract which underpins so much of what makes living in the city such a pleasure, from the vast array of restaurants, bars and shops to the wonderful cultural life, including the Fringe and our fantastic free galleries and museums.