How Scotland’s hotels responded to Brexit uncertainty in 2017
There was much uncertainty in 2017 in the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, and the hospitality industry was not immune to it
There was much uncertainty in 2017 surrounding the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, and the hospitality industry was certainly not immune to it.
The hotel and tourism industries in Scotland, however, generated significant growth in 2017, despite the mutual uncertainty that they both faced due to Brexit. In fact, international tourists who visited Scotland contributed to an increased investor interest. In fact, investor interest rose 14.6 percent to 1.26 million during the first nine months of 2017. This growth took place in spite of some agencies reporting that domestic tourism in Scotland fell by as much as 5.5 percent to a low of 8.29 million over the course of this same period.
Increased Hotel Industry Performance
Overall, the aforementioned boost in tourism for Scotland unsurprisingly supported a corresponding increase in hotel industry performance during last year. The markets in which this growth was most prevalent were Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness, all of which have traditionally been among Scotland’s best performing cities for tourists.
Of those cities, Edinburgh scored the best last year with a 12.4 percent increase in its RevPAR as well as an increase in ADR to more than 100 pound sterlings. Meanwhile, Glasgow’s occupancy went up 2.5 percent, landing at 82.1 percent overall while also driving a 5.2 percent increase in RevPAR for 2017. Finally, Inverness also scored high performance levels, with its own rise in occupancy taking it from the more than 83 percent that was record for the market in 2016 to an 8.1 percent increase in ADR to 81.77 pound sterlings.
Potential Causes and Effects
One potential cause for some of the increase could be surging demand in the Scottish Highlands due to the television show Outlander, which is set there, as well as to the launch of the tourism development initiative known as North Coast 500.
Scotland has also generally benefited from having a high tourism profile around the world, as well as an ongoing weakness of its currency, the pound sterling. Experts have also said that the new expansions of the Glasgow and Edinburgh airports are likely to open up international travel markets even further, and that a direct route connecting Scotland to China is high on the agenda for stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism market here.
Strong hotel performance in the country has, however, helped to entice increased investor interest. In fact, last year hotel investment transactions rose above 240 million pound sterlings. Experts have said that overseas investors from the Middle East and Asia are largely responsible, having taken great advantage of the currency exchange rate in Scotland.
Let’s take a look at a few other projects currently underway in Scotland:
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