Euan McGrory: Edinburgh’s love-hate affair with budget hotels

Edinburgh aims to attract more high end hotels like Richard Branson's Virgin chain
Edinburgh aims to attract more high end hotels like Richard Branson's Virgin chain
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We all love a budget hotel.

Maybe not in the same way that we adore a bit of five star luxury. But often, whether its a cheap weekend away or an overnight stay to break up a long journey, an affordable Travelodge or Premier Inn room is exactly what we want.

That’s why these chains are so enormously successful and popping up in so many places - sometimes it seems like they are on every corner in Edinburgh.

The budget chains might be the answer to our personal travel needs - but are they good for the city? Or more accurately are so many of them good for Edinburgh?

More affordable hotels are always going to be an important part of the city’s tourist offering. The question now is whether the Capital can attract more high-spending visitors, ones who bring the much-talked about economic benefits to the local economy without the same level of disruption as mass market tourism. Put crudely, can we be a little more like the millionaire’s playground of Monaco and a little less like Amsterdam, with all its stag and hen parties?

It’s a smart strategy, especially for a city with the grand history and high quality attractions of Edinburgh, and one from which we can all benefit.