Some 181 Dumfries & Galloway-based hoteliers, operators of B&Bs, self-catering cottages / apartments, guest houses, holiday parks, caravan and camping sites, amongst other accommodation providers shared performance figures with LJ Research. The findings contribute towards the identification of business growth opportunities and input towards the Tourism Strategy for Dumfries and Galloway.
The 4 charts below show accommodation performance for different geographical areas of Dumfries & Galloway and for accommodation sub-sectors in the region – we also present year-on-year comparison figures. Participating accommodation providers are given this and additional information to allow them to evaluate their performance against that of others.
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Average occupancy across all areas and sectors was 62.59% (up from May 2015 when it was 59.01%).
The average daily rate (i.e. average daily room rates for hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, etc; average self-catering unit rate for self-catering accommodation providers and average daily pitch rate for caravan / camping sites) was £62.87 (up from this time last year when it was £59.19).
Accommodation providers we surveyed shared the following comments about factors that affected May’s business. As apparent from these comments, there were various factors that impacted on accommodation business in the region this month. The most prominent ones were weather and early Easter holidays. Moreover there are other miscellaneous comments that are noteworthy .
“Best May ever. Revenue up 60% on May 2015. Occupancy up over 100% from May 2015. The reasons were good start to the SUW walking season and the weather!”
“Great weather – great bookings.”
“The start of the month was very poor with only 14% occupancy achieved in the first 2 weeks of may and well down on last year same period, possibly due to the Easter holidays being later last year. Thankfully the last 2 weeks saw a great improvement on leisure bookings both mid week and weekend helped I’m sure by the Spring Fling Event over the bank holiday and 2 weeks of glorious sunshine. Hoping this continues!”
“We are up in takings as we are allowed more than 5 vans as we have come out of the Camping and Caravanning Club. There have been very few tents for the most of May too cold and too early hence the low occupancy %.”
“There is a lack of signage altering and encouraging potential customers to the availability of accommodation/tourist attractions on the M74. The focus is on Gretna in the south, Moffat to the north and motorway services.”
“May 2016 has seen a continuation of the trend of dramatically falling occupancy seen in recent years from 85% in May 2010 to 52% in May 2016 i.e. a fall of more than a third! Apart from falling numbers it is also concerning that by far the majority of guests are repeat visitors, in some cases dating back 10 years or more- in other words, very few new visitors are being seen. It is therefore very concerning that there appears to be a focus in the new strategy on repeat business when, from our experience, that is mostly what we are getting but regrettably fewer in number as old age takes its toll. Fellow respondees seem to attribute disappointing figures to matters such as the weather; the timing of a Bank Holiday, reliability of broadband and many other factors. Having 15 years experience I am firmly of the opinion that the problem is none of these but is predominantly a lack of awareness out there of what SW Scotland has to offer and what is needed is not better roads, weather, broadband or whatever but a robust and effective advertising campaign. Yes, it will cost a lot but that should be seen as a challenge rather than a reason to continue doing next to nothing.”
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