AVERAGE hotel room rates in Edinburgh have hit £100 per night for the first time as the city’s tourism sector defies uncertainty over Brexit.
A new report published today shows hotel room occupancy in the Capital up on last year and higher than any other major city in the UK.
And hotel bosses said last year had been a boom time.
The report by property firm GVA said despite the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty which subdued performance in several commercial sectors, Scotland’s hotels and tourism industry had seen significant growth.
In Edinburgh, there was a 12.4 per cent rise in revenue per available hotel room – a measurement that combines occupancy rates and room prices. That was the biggest increase among major UK cities including London, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool.
Average daily room rates in the Capital also rose more than anywhere else, taking them over £100 for the first time.
The report quoted VisitScotland statistics showing the number of international tourist trips to Scotland in the first nine months of 2017 totalled 1.26 million, an increase of 14.6 per cent on the same period of 2016. It also highlighted record passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport.
GVA’s Andrew Renouf said: “The hotel sector across Scotland has benefitted in 2017 from the continued weakness of sterling, coupled with the very high profile of destination Scotland around the world. Further expansion of both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports will continue to open up new markets, with a direct route to China high on the agenda.”
Russell Imrie, spokesman for the Edinburgh Hotels Association, said 2017 had been “a very good year” for the hotel industry in Edinburgh.
“Edinburgh is seen as a very attractive destination in global terms. There are many flights, which mean it is accessible, so that makes the city very busy.
“We have benefitted from a very favourable exchange rate. And £100 should not be seen as being expensive – it’s very good value if you compare it with the average room rate in other capital cities in Europe. Edinburgh is seen as a cost-effective destination.”
He admitted 2018 may not prove to be quite as successful as 2017. He said: “The exchange rate has moved adversely. But that doesn’t affect the attractiveness of Scotland and Edinburgh as destinations. We will need to wait and see.”
The council’s economy convener Gavin Barrie said: “We continue to be a thriving tourist city – and the figures will include not just holiday tourists, but business tourists as well, which is great for the economy.
“And it’s not just the hotels which people use when they visit the city – they also use our public transport, restaurants and bars – and all that creates jobs for the citizens of Edinburgh.”