Thriving Edinburgh hotel sector boosts events industry

Edinburgh has sealed its status as the UK’s number one hot spot for hotel investment with a string of high profile additions, according to key industry players seeking to reinforce the city’s appeal as a global conference and events destination.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 4:42 pm
Updated Friday, 16th August 2019, 5:42 pm
Edinburgh recently welcomed the launch of Yotel, the latest high profile chain to lay down roots in the city. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Scottish capital, which currently ranks as the top UK city for hotel investment and development, recently welcomed the addition of hotel group Yotel, the latest high profile chain to lay down roots in the city.

Conference and event organisers are now seeking to build on this momentum to raise Edinburgh’s profile as a business tourism host on the world stage.

The city currently ranks 27th in the International Congress and Convention Association’s world rankings and places second in the UK, behind London.

However, ongoing investment in the city’s hotel sector could lead to increased interest from event organisers seeking a destination for global summits, according to industry insiders.

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Amanda Ferguson, head of membership organisation Convention Edinburgh, the business tourism arm of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “Continued hotel investment from global brands gives conference and event organisers just one more reason to choose Edinburgh as a host city.

“Accessible, compact and beautiful, Edinburgh is renowned for its thriving knowledge economy and world-class academic credentials in sectors such as technology, life sciences, creative industries, food and drink, renewable energy and financial services. These are huge drivers of business tourism.”

Yotel Edinburgh’s launch, which marks the brand’s first city centre hotel in Europe, follows the InterContinental Hotel Group’s takeover of the Principal Edinburgh George Street to create the group’s only UK site outwith London.

Other notable investments include last year’s announcement that Sir Richard Branson will open the first Virgin Hotel outside the US, in Edinburgh’s historic India Buildings on Victoria Street.

Marketing Edinburgh is one of a number of organisations behind the Make it Edinburgh campaign, launched in 2017 as a collaboration of private and public organisations operating in the conference and meetings industry, which has been striving to showcase the capital’s strengths to the business events market.

Ferguson added: “It’s great to see Edinburgh gaining recognition globally as a place to invest. The more conferences we bring in to the city, the greater the opportunity for collaboration, innovation and lasting impact within these sectors.”

Neil Ellis, chair of the Edinburgh Hotels Association, added: “Major new developments like these provide an opportunity to shout about these truths, instil further confidence in Edinburgh as an events destination, while also increasing the variety of offering for locals and visitors alike.”