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Hotel occupancy in Glasgow soared during the Commonwealth Games, new figures have revealed.
The monthly LJ Forecaster report, from tourism market research specialists LJ Research, shows that average occupancy across the nine nights of the Games in July (23rd to 31st) reached 97.3%.
This reflects an 11.2% rise in absolute terms compared with the same period in July 2013.
Occupancy performed strongly across July as a whole, averaging 88.5% for the month. It is the highest July occupancy in the city on record; reflecting a year-on-year increase of 6.5%.
It also demonstrates the scale of industry growth in the city in the last decade, with average occupancy recorded for July 2004 reaching just 77%. And it is the first time since record-keeping began in 1999 that average occupancy in July has risen above 82%.
July was the 14th consecutive month of occupancy growth for Glasgow’s hotels.
The LJ Forecaster compiles the largest and most robust survey sample of hotels in Glasgow. The report analysed data collected from 25 hotels, representing nearly 4,000 rooms in the city centre.
There was more good news for Glasgow’s hoteliers as July’s strong occupancy growth was accompanied by a sharp increase in room revenue.
The industry measure of room revenue performance, known as ‘rooms yield’ – or revenue per available room (RevPAR) – rose a massive 65.5% compared to July 2013, increasing from £50.13 to £82.99.
Alongside the sporting competition during the Commonwealth Games, Festival 2014, the Games’ cultural programme; the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix athletics and the Merchant City Festival were key drivers of visitor volume during July.
Festival 2014 welcomed over 500,000 visitors to cultural events across the city while the Merchant City Festival drew record-breaking crowds of more than 215,000 to Glasgow’s cultural quarter.
Sean Morgan, Managing Director at LJ Research, said: “The scale of growth recorded by Glasgow hotels in July was unprecedented as room revenue performance was an average of 65% above last year based on our LJ Forecaster figures.
“There is an opportunity for Glasgow hotels to capitalise on the success of the Commonwealth Games and a heightened appeal to visit Scotland’s largest city. Our forward bookings analysis shows signs of continued growth in the hotel market in the city as business-on-the-books for September, October and November are well above recent years.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “The UK is Glasgow’s largest tourism market and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau delivered a high-profile joint marketing and TV advertising campaign with Glasgow 2014 to drive 400,000 ticket sales and grow visitor volume from England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
“We also worked with the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association, the Games Travel Office and our industry partners in the city to develop an extensive range of Glasgow packages and to promote the city internationally.
“That activity proved hugely successful with four in every 10 ticketholders travelling from the Home Nations and hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world packing into the city – not just during the Games but throughout the month, which helped to deliver record-breaking occupancy during July and provided a welcome economic boost across our hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.
“As we close the curtain on the best ever Commonwealth Games, now is the time to stop for a moment and review what has been the most exciting and high profile summer in Glasgow’s history. The past few weeks have been an overwhelming success and our global profile has never been greater.”
Denis MacCann, General Manager of Hotel Indigo and Co-Chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association (GGHA), said: “Glasgow managed to avoid the Olympics factor when London hotels ran at 50% occupancy for the 10 days leading up to the opening ceremony and for the five days following the closing ceremony.
“To support the city’s bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2006, the GGHA provided some 60% of Glasgow’s hotel rooms, equivalent to 140,000 room nights, at discounted rates and those rooms and rates were honoured.
“We worked closely with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow 2014 for two years in the lead up to the Games to ensure that the city’s pricing strategy either side of the Games was cognisant of London’s occupancy cliff edge.
“In addition, and again unlike London, Glasgow’s hotels successfully managed their large tours and groups commitments to ensure that T&G business en-route to the rest of Scotland, both during and post Games, continued unabated.”
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About LJ Research Ltd
LJ Research Ltd is a leading provider of key data and specialised insight to the tourism, travel and hospitality industry. Produced by LJ Research Ltd, the LJ Forecaster produces the most comprehensive set of destination occupancy reports available, providing hotel and destination tourism managers with an up-to-date picture of the total room occupancy and availability in their city based on past and future sales.