HOTELS in the Capital are selling out as room rates soar to record levels ahead of the festivals season.
With businesses preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of tourists, figures from LJ Research show the average price of a city centre hotel room in June was just under £126 – up nearly 11 per cent on last year and the highest since 2005.
Managers said premises were booked up as early as March, amid signs visitors are willing to spend more for the full “Edinburgh experience” at festival time.
Hotels here also outperformed counterparts in Glasgow and Aberdeen, as the Capital’s global appeal and events helped underpin demand.
A spokeswoman for the Rutland Hotel, which is located in the heart of the West End, said August vacancies were snapped up weeks ago and predicted a similar situation at many other boutique operators.
“We’ve had no availability for summer since spring,” she said.
“At the weekend, I know we’re full for the whole month. We’re really small and I think that if you speak to other boutique hotel operators across Edinburgh, they’ll be the same.
“The Rutland’s accommodation ranges from a standard, classic room right up to one of our new luxury apartments. I would not say that any one particular room type sells out quicker.”
She added: “When people come to the city in August, they want the whole experience of doing Edinburgh, which means they’re willing to push the boat out and spend a bit more. I would say there’s enough capacity for the level of demand for boutique hotels that we’re seeing.”
The latest data also shows that just over 93 per cent of Edinburgh’s hotel rooms were occupied in June, compared with 85.9 per cent in Glasgow. In Aberdeen, it was 70.8 per cent.
Factoring in the occupancy and price performance, Edinburgh’s revenue per available room was up nearly 14 per cent on last year at £117.28.
Sean Morgan, managing director at LJ Research, said: “June saw another month of contrasting fortunes for hoteliers in Scotland’s largest cities. The frontrunner this month was Edinburgh which recorded remarkable double-digit room rate growth. Savvy revenue management by hotels and the impact of a diverse range of events helped to affect the strong performance.”
City bosses have welcomed the latest occupancy figures.
Councillor Gavin Barrie, economy leader, said: “In addition to providing sufficient levels of visitor accommodation, it is also necessary that it is available at varying prices appropriate to a wide range of visitors.
“A number of four- and five-star hotels are already under development such as The Carlton Hotel Collection on Market Street, and a Courtyard by Marriot on Baxter’s Place.
“These are important to support the city’s growing business tourism and conference markets. The city has recently also attracted an increased number of budget hotels. With festival season well under way, I am confident these figures will increase further.”