Highlighting strong demand for accommodation in Scotland’s capital, this high level of occupancy was 2.4% above last year and the highest on record for LJ Forecaster, which has tracked hotel performance for over 10 years.
In addition to increasing room occupancy, hoteliers also successfully grew room rates in Edinburgh as the Average Room Rate (ARR) increased from £111.53 in September 2015 to £129.09, an increase of 15.7%.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) was up 17.9% to £120.66 this year, compared with £102.38 the same month last year. The trend of future bookings also shows positive signs for Edinburgh hoteliers as forward bookings for October, November and December were all above last year and 2014 levels.
In Glasgow, however, there was evidence of shrinking occupancy and ARR during the month. Average room occupancy for Glasgow hoteliers was 88.2%, compared with 91.5% last year, and ARR stood at £75.09 – compared with £82.22.
Factoring in both occupancy and revenue performance, RevPAR was £66.04 – 12.4% below last year and 17.7% below the Ryder Cup month of September 2014.
Following four months of room occupancy growth, September performance for hoteliers in the Aberdeen was negatively impacted by the biennial oil and gas event – Offshore Europe – which took place last September.
The absence of the conference this year along with continuing oil and gas sector challenges contributed to generate weaker room occupancy and, in particular, rate performance. Room occupancy fell 1.5% to 73.9% and ARR fell by 36.5% to £66.51.
Overall, this level of performance generated RevPAR of £49.14 – a reduction of 37.4% compared with last year and an even steeper contraction of 42.5% compared to September 2014.
Sean Morgan, managing director at LJ Research, said: “For the fourth time this year the Edinburgh hotel market recorded double-digit RevPAR growth. Successful strategies to grow room rates has been a key factor in achieving this growth as occupancy rates in the city continue to level out.
“Meanwhile, in both Glasgow and Aberdeen, the ever changing schedule of leisure and business events along with other market factors contributed to stunt growth.”
He added, based on forward booking analysis, the outlook continues to look “challenging” in Aberdeen whilst in Glasgow there is evidence of an uptake in demand for the final quarter of the year.