Weather fuels boom time for Edinburgh hotels

Firework Friday starts a countdown with just two weeks to go until the start of the Festival. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Firework Friday starts a countdown with just two weeks to go until the start of the Festival. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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FINE weather and a flood of business visitors are fuelling a bumper season for the city’s packed hotels.

Edinburgh notched up the second highest occupancy rate of any city in Britain on the back of the heatwave and the Capital’s popularity as a conference and business destination.

Average occupancy levels across the Capital soared to 85.3 per cent in May – up 7.3 per cent on the same month last year and behind only Portsmouth out of all UK cities.

Each hotel room in Edinburgh also returned £74.23 in revenue for the month in the highest return of any British location other than Aberdeen.

And tourism chiefs have tipped booming summer results, with Britons choosing to visit Scotland’s “sun-drenched” Capital rather than travel further afield.

York Place’s 60-bed Hotel Indigo Edinburgh enjoyed high occupancy rates of about 95 per cent throughout May.

Front office manager Sarah Banyard credited a high influx of leisure guests from all over the world for the increase. She said: “It seems to be getting a little busier earlier rather than waiting until late July and August, as it does most years.”

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa general manager Tristan Nesbitt said the luxury venue had experienced particularly high demand over the Edinburgh Marathon and Bank Holiday weekends in May.

Hotel Missoni sales and marketing director Tamara Kobiolke said: “This summer has been particularly strong with an increased number of tourists choosing to visit earlier in the year, combined with the buzz of the British Open being held at Muirfield.

“We’re looking forward to the busy month ahead as our guests arrive for the Edinburgh festivals – hopefully the warm weather will continue throughout August encouraging more people than ever to visit our wonderful city.”

By comparison, Glasgow’s hotel occupancy rate for May grew by just 0.9 per cent.

VisitScotland regional director Manuela Calchini said the figures showed Edinburgh continued to punch above its weight.

She said: “Overall, we have had extremely good feedback from members of the tourism industry throughout Scotland, with some reporting increases in business of up to 40 per cent due to the sunshine. The start to the summer months has been excellent, the Open at Muirfield will undoubtedly have had a positive impact and we’ve got a lot to look forward to.”