Scottish boutiques reflect on a successful 2014

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Almost a year on from Scotland’s bumper year of tourism and boutiques around the country have noted an increase in tourism thanks to events such as Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and the 1,000 events of Homecoming that took place in 2014.

The jam-packed calendar contributed to a positive rise in visitor numbers, both from Scotland and overseas, with hotels across the country noting an increase in footfall, which in turn helped to boost turnover in the last 12 months.

Murray Ward, general manager, The Rutland Hotel said: “2014 saw turnover consistently increase week on week with 52 week average of around 15%. 2013 was a bumper year for the business so to deliver this in 2014 is exceptional, to continue to build on this for 2015 is a challenge that the whole team is ready for.”

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Graeme Barclay, general manager, The George Hotel agreed: “The past 12 months have been very encouraging. Scotland has enjoyed massive exposure over the last 12 months. The recent events created a tremendous buzz and attracted people from far and wide. It’s likely we’ll see business and leisure visitors encouraged to visit Scotland. We have seen turnover increase by 2.2%.”

2015 looks set to be another profitable year for boutique hotels in Scotland, with many new works already in the pipeline, including a new £20m development in Edinburgh from the De Vere Group, a £60m Scottish hotel and golf resort from Wyndham Hotel Group and the iconic Turnberry Gold Resort being purchased by the epic Trump Organisation.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, commented: “Scotland welcomed the world in 2014, with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the 1000 events of Homecoming capturing the imagination of millions of people around the world.

“Homecoming 2014 clearly had an impact on our overseas market, with a distinct rise in both visitor numbers and spend as visitors immersed themselves in Scottish culture, history and ancestry.

“New airlines connecting Scotland to the Far East and increased capacity from North America have been crucial in boosting visitor numbers.

“We can see from hotel owners that confidence is high for the year ahead and the development of new hotels is excellent news, not just for Scotland’s tourism industry, but for the country as a whole.”

Laurie Nicol, general manager, Grand Central Hotel agrees that driving this positive momentum from 2014 will be key for this year. She said: “It’s set to be a challenging year if we want to repeat the success from 2014. There’s a huge focus on repeat custom, given that we really pride ourselves on excellent levels of customer service. Food and beverage areas of the hotel are assisted with growth via promotions to our own database as well as via third parties.”

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