Edinburgh, as we all know, is one of the world’s greatest city break destinations.
Every year, it welcomes more than three million visitors from all over the world.
Some come here for leisure, others come here on business, but all leave with a hankering for a quick return to Scotland’s beautiful, historic capital.
Whatever the reason for the visit, the quality of a visitor’s overnight stay is key to their overall experience and to their lasting impression of the city as a whole.
As well as an outstanding array of visitor attractions and places to eat and drink, Edinburgh also boasts an excellent range of accommodation, with hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses to suit every kind of taste and budget.
As with everything in life, however, there is always room for improvement.
The Tourism Development Framework for Scotland points out that there is a need to provide more four and five-star accommodation in the city.
Not only would this act as a further incentive for leisure visitors, but it would also help to support Edinburgh’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for business events.
Ongoing investment in Scotland’s tourism accommodation from the private sector is essential in ensuring that the quality expectations of visitors are met going forward.
Investment and growth are key to the continued growth of Scotland’s tourism industry, which is worth £11 billion to the country’s economy.
One example of such investment in Edinburgh is Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Group’s proposal to turn the Old Royal High School on Regent Road into Rosewood Edinburgh, the design for which has been submitted to City of Edinburgh Council.
In a report commissioned by the developers, Oxford Economics have revealed that, once the hotel becomes operational, it will bring more than £30 million of visitor spend into the city every year, with guests spending an average of £300 a day in Edinburgh.
Furthermore, the ripple effect of Scotland’s visitor economy also means that the hotel will support 260 jobs in Edinburgh and a further 310 jobs in Scotland on an ongoing basis.
Edinburgh Airport, meanwhile, is welcoming an increasing number of direct flights from the Middle East. This includes Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, which connects more than 100 global destinations with Scotland with daily flights from Abu Dhabi.
It unlocks Etihad Airways’ worldwide network and allows us to attract a broad range of leisure, high-net worth and business travellers from around the world.
Qatar Airways, meanwhile, operates a daily direct scheduled service from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to Edinburgh.
Projects such as Rosewood Edinburgh not only have the potential to help fulfil the city’s requirement for more luxury accommodation, but also to further enhance Scotland’s standing in the luxury market.
Malcolm Roughead is chief executive of VisitScotland