The latest monthly LJ Forecaster Scottish Intercity Report, from tourism market research specialists LJ Research, tracking city centre hotel performance in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, shows mixed fortunes for hoteliers in Scotland’s three biggest cities in April 2015.
Aberdeen falling, Glasgow positive, Edinburgh flat
For the fifth consecutive month hoteliers in Aberdeen recorded falling yields and the latest figures show a decline in business of over 20% compared to last year. Meanwhile, following strong performance in March, positive momentum continued for Glasgow hoteliers as RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room or ‘yield’) – the key measurement of hotel room occupancy and revenue performance – increased by nearly 10% compared to last year. Broadly on par with the year to date average, hoteliers in the capital, Edinburgh, saw flat growth compared to last year.
Demand for accommodation was highest in Edinburgh as hoteliers sold 84.0% of their rooms during the month with occupancy peaking during the Easter weekend – the first weekend of the month. Compared to April 2014 the performance marked a modest 1.8% increase in room sales.
John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh said: “These figures build on a strong start to the year for Scotland’s Capital City, with April maintaining the highest occupancy levels and revenue per room in Scotland. Edinburgh is continuing to build its reputation as an all year round destination for visitors, while business tourism events such as the Festival of Neuroscience brought over 1,600 delegates to the city during that month, providing a significant boost for our accommodation partners.”
Down by 0.9% compared to last year, a slightly lower level of occupancy of 81.8% was achieved in Glasgow. Major conferences including the Congress of the European Accounting Association, the European Stroke Organisation Conference and the 19th Commonwealth Law Conference 2015 at SECC helped to generate a particularly successful middle of the month as occupancy of 90% or more was recorded over five successive days.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “This growth in room yield is on trend with our forecast for 2015 to be another high performing year for the tourist industry in Glasgow.”
Meanwhile in Aberdeen, average occupancy for April was 64.2% which constituted a bleak reduction of 16.4% compared to last year. Hoteliers in the city referred to continuing challenges securing more profitable corporate contracts and a comparatively quiet period at the AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition Conference Centre) as being factors impacting on the performance.
Whilst recording the lowest occupancy, room rates were higher in Aberdeen than in Edinburgh and Glasgow – a trend that has been consistent throughout 2015. Average rates were £92.57 in Aberdeen (down by 6.2%) compared to £86.16 in Edinburgh (down by 0.3%) and £71.40 in Glasgow (up by 10.9%).
Commenting on the latest month’s LJ Forecaster figures, Sean Morgan, Managing Director at LJ Research said: “It’s very promising to see Glasgow continuing last year’s strong growth with yields up by 10%. Following the city’s recent hosting of the high profile All Energy Conference, it will be interesting to see how much positive momentum carries through into May’s LJ Forecaster reports. Meanwhile, a deterioration of performance is evident in Aberdeen and whilst the oil price continues to stabilise the next two months show a 15% decline in forward bookings compared to last year.”
About LJ Research Ltd
LJ Research Ltd is a leading provider of key data and specialised insight to the tourism, travel and hospitality industry. Produced by LJ Research Ltd, the LJ Forecaster produces the most comprehensive set of destination occupancy reports available, providing hotel and destination tourism managers with an up-to-date picture of the total room occupancy and availability in their city based on past and future sales.
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