Scottish hotel revenue and occupancy wavered in January -BDO

Alastair Rae
Alastair Rae

Scottish hotel revenue and occupancy wavered in January according to the latest report on the sector from accountants BDO.

The firm’s monthly hotel survey found that year-on-year revenue (the industry term for rooms yield) rose 4.2 per cent to £35.58 in Scotland compared to an increase of 12.8 per cent in regional UK to £33.69; a rise of 14.2 per cent in England to £33.40 and an increase of 14.8 per cent to £28.15 in Wales.

Occupancy dipped 1.0 per cent in Scotland compared to an increase of 4.6 per cent in regional UK; up 5.3 per cent in England and 7.3 per cent in Wales.

Aberdeen was the sole Scottish city to record an increase in occupancy up 1.3 per cent to 65.3 per cent. Revenue was £60.25 in Aberdeen which was the highest in the UK outside London and streets ahead of the next highest city revenue which was in Milton Keynes at £47.31.

Inverness revenue grew the greatest at 18.3 per cent largely due to the city hosting the Scottish student championship whilst Glasgow also held up well with an 8.9 per cent rise to £34.56.

Alastair Rae, a partner in the Property, Leisure and Hospitality sector at BDO, said: “January is, traditionally, a quiet month for the hospitality sector as the leisure market drops dramatically. For Aberdeen, whose revenue is largely business-based, this did not occur and, indeed surprisingly increased at a time when the expectation is that the city will start to experience a reduction due to the declining oil price.”

“Any increase in revenue in January is welcome as it is a difficult month to attract custom. Despite the relatively small increase in revenue in Scotland it remains the highest figure of the any of the UK countries so, whilst the numbers may indicate standing still, it is from a pretty high base figure.”

Mr Rae continued: “Glasgow’s increased revenue was notable as it was based on conference and events which continue to prove a successful formula for the city. Events included Shelter’s homelessness conference and a conference for occupational psychologists. Inverness’ hospitality sector attracted a major event which improved the month’s figures proving the worth of bringing in outside events during the quietest periods of the year.”

He concluded: “One month’s figures are not a trend and January is clearly a hangover month in which leisure travellers reign in spending following the festive financial excesses. I believe that this year will continue to be positive for the sector although there remains a question mark in Aberdeen as the oil and gas sector begins to re-evaluate its position.”

This hotel trends survey has been published since the early 1970s and features a broad range of hotels in the 3 – 4 star categories.