City shrugs off oil price fall

Aberdeen beats tourist towns in hotel league

Aberdeen hotelsAberdeen has beaten off competition from some of Britain’s top tourist destinations to record the highest hotel revenue outside London.

Scotland’s hospitality sector as a whole also outperformed the rest of the UK according to the latest report by accountants and business advisers, BDO.

Its regular hotel survey found that annual revenue in Aberdeen was highest in the UK with £70.88 for the whole of 2014, while Edinburgh was fourth at £63.04. Second and third were Oxford at £64.54 and Windsor at £63.69.

Aberdeen’s top position owed more to business travellers visiting the oil capital than to tourists, although high occupancy rates continued after the oil price fell in the middle of the year.

Glasgow had the most improved revenue increase rising 26.6% to £53.88 on the back of the Commonwealth Games and a busy season of conferences and events in the city. Inverness rose 3.9% to £41.20 over the year.

Occupancy rose 2.6% in Glasgow over the year to 81.1%. Occupancy fell in Aberdeen by 2.6% to 74.9%; in Edinburgh was down 0.9% to 78.8%; and fell 1.9% in Inverness to 73.8%.

Scotland as a whole saw revenue increase 11.0% over the year to £54.88 compared to an 11.2% rise in regional UK to £44.83; up 11.1% in England to £43.70; and up 15.5% in Wales to £40.76.

Alastair Rae, a partner in the property, leisure and hospitality sector at BDO, said: “Last year was undoubtedly a very positive year for the hotel sector in Scotland recording the highest occupancy levels and highest revenue figures of any part of the UK.

“The occupancy numbers were led by Glasgow which was given an enormous boost due to the Commonwealth games which also pushed revenue up by the highest amount in the UK.

“However, the star performer for revenue was Aberdeen. This was fuelled by the high oil price which kept the market buoyant for the first six months. However, although revenue has remained strong occupancy levels have been falling in the last quarter as the oil and gas sector reassesses its commitment to the North Sea.”

He concluded: “These annual figures reflect a hotel sector which has rebounded from the low point of the recession to substantially recover. There is double digit revenue increases across the UK which is a clear sign that the sector had a very good 2014 and should expect continued growth into 2015 although the potential downturn in the Aberdeen market will have repercussions for the rest of the sector in Scotland.”

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