Glasgow hotel occupancy rates strong

18 Nov 2009

by Sarah Swain, Evening Times

Glasgow is one of only two cities in Europe where hotel bookings are up despite the recession.

The city has beat destinations including Barcelona, Amsterdam, Dublin and Paris by attracting more visitors to its hotels this year than last. Edinburgh is the only other European city which has not seen a drop in trade.

Glasgow's hotels have been at 75% occupancy, up 0.5% on last year and behind only London, which boasts the highest room occupancy in Europe at almost 80%.

Room rates are also bucking the economic downturn in Glasgow.

Though the average cost of staying in one of the city's hotels dropped by £1 on last year to £63, the figure is nothing compared with the fall of the prices in cities such as Dublin, which are down more than 17% and Barcelona, which have fallen by more than 15%.

Experts at business advisory firm Deloitte compiled the figures, which cover the period from January until September this year.

They say "staycations" - people choosing to holiday at home - plus the strength of the euro are to blame for drop in hotel bookings across Europe.

Spain has been hit the hardest, due to a lack of tourists from the UK, Germany and France.

Tourism chiefs say Glasgow has continued to attract visitors because of its conventions and events as well as cultural events and shopping.

Scott Taylor, chief executive, of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "This global report by Deloitte tracks 38,000 hotels and five million rooms worldwide. European hotel occupancy has been on a downward curve since January 2007.

"Glasgow has continued to outperform its competitors.

"Its strong performance is reflected in the level of interest by developers and is the place where smart money chooses to invest."

Alex Kyriakidis of Deloitte, said: "The past year has been one of turbulence for European hoteliers as the economic crisis has taken its toll. Soaring unemployment, the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus and the strength of the euro has seriously impacted hotel performance in Europe.

"As many businesses tightened their purse strings on corporate travel - hotels, airlines and tour operators all saw a fall in sales."

Reproduced with the permission of The Herald and Times Group.


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