Against a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty that has subdued performance in a number of commercial sectors, tourism and hotels have defied conditions to deliver significant growth in Scotland.
GVA’s inaugural Hotels Economic and Property Market Review has highlighted strong hotel market performance across the UK in 2017. In Scotland, this has been buoyed primarily by inbound tourism. VisitScotland statistics show that the number of international tourist trips to Scotland in the first nine months of 2017 increased by 14.6% over the same period of 2016. This offset a drop in domestic overnight trips over the same period, which fell by 5.5%. Unlike the rest of the UK, Scotland saw a drop in the number of ‘staycation’ trips following the Brexit referendum.
This data highlights both the work of VisitScotland in marketing the destination in recent years, with North Coast 500 being the latest addition to the inventory, but also shows the benefits of Sterling devaluation following the 2016 referendum. Spending by overseas tourists has increased at an even faster rate, rising by 18.3% to £1.85bn from January to September 2017.
Edinburgh saw a 12.4% increase in revenue, Glasgow 5.2% and Inverness 8.1%.