No evidence of boom in sight for Scottish tourism according to industry body
Research published by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the representative body for tourism businesses in Scotland, shows no evidence of boom in sight for Scottish tourism.
The organisation conducted research, predominantly with hospitality businesses following the easing of some restrictions on 26 April and also collated the results of research undertaken by a number of member sectoral groups within the industry, totalling 980 responses.
The STA surveyed 271 businesses directly and found that 30% took the decision to remain closed from 26 April; of those, 31% have said that they do not plan to reopen next week when restrictions will ease further.
The organisation’s research highlighted an extremely slow start to accommodation bookings; between 41 – 45% of accommodation providers who responded indicated that over the course of May, June and July, occupancy is sitting at below 20%.
62% of rural hotels have less than 50% occupancy for May and just 26% of rural hotels have indicated that they will have more than 60% occupancy for this month. The picture is almost identical for June and for July, 54% of rural hotels indicate that their occupancy will be lower than 50%; just 30% have said they expect occupancy upwards of 60%.
Predicated occupancy levels in the cities is worryingly low with 94% of hotels in cities reporting occupancy levels of below 50% in May, 98% of hotels in cities are reporting occupancy levels of below 50% in June and 87% of city hotels are reporting occupancy levels of below 50% in July.
This is also reflected in the recent STR data which shows forward occupancy levels for Glasgow hotels sitting at just 14% for May and June, dropping to 13% in July and rising slightly to 15% in August. The picture is similar in Edinburgh with May occupancy at 19%, June 20%, July 19% rising to just 22% in August.
Of the 271 businesses surveyed by the STA, 38% said that their average gross food and beverage takings since reopening are below 20% and just 11% of respondents are taking between 76 – 100% of the norm.