Glasgow is set to achieve its ambitious new hotel room target three years ahead of schedule, significantly boosting the city’s visitor economy.
The city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan aims to increase annual overnight leisure tourism visits from two to three million by 2023, delivering an associated spend of £771m and creating 6,600 new jobs.
Plans to achieve those targets include adding 2,500 new hotel rooms to the city’s accommodation stock by 2023, with new figures showing that 42% of these have already been completed while another 3,500 rooms are in the pipeline.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, 1,052 rooms were built across new developments including Point A; Radisson Red at the SEC; Motel One (Scotland’s largest hotel with 374 rooms); Ibis Styles Glasgow Centre West; Moxy Merchant City and Native Glasgow.
Permission has been granted for 12 more hotels, bringing new brands such as Maldron, Clayton, Sandman, YOTEL, Courtyard by Marriot and Meininger to the city and approximately 1,900 rooms. Two of these developments are scheduled to open in 2019, with seven opening in 2020. Opening dates for the final three are still to be confirmed.
Beyond that, 10 more developments, supplying approximately 1,600 rooms, are at various planning stages.
Work has begun on Scotland’s first Maldron Hotel located on the junction between Renfrew Street and Renfield Street. The four-star hotel, which will be operated by Dalata, will have 300 rooms over 12 floors and will also feature a restaurant, bar and business facilities. The development is expected to create 100 jobs in Glasgow and be completed within two years.
In 2018, hotel occupancy in Glasgow averaged almost 81% and the city compares strongly to its European competitors, appearing in the top 10 for average hotel occupancy rates alongside the likes of Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Vienna and Amsterdam. Revenue per Available Room (RevPar) – a key hotel performance metric – increased faster in Glasgow than in any other UK city last year.
Hubert Viriot, Chief Executive Officer of YOTEL, which is set to open its first Glasgow development in November this year, said: “Glasgow is a forward looking city that has real vibrancy and energy, bolstered by careful planning and investment initiatives. The city is building on its excellent infrastructure and is shaping up to be a world-class cultural and business destination. These were all-important characteristics that helped us choose Glasgow as our next UK location and we’re excited to be part of the positive momentum that is driving growth in the city.”
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council, said: “These figures for hotel development show how attractive Glasgow continues to be for investors in this sector and underlines the city’s status as a major visitor destination. The target of an additional 2,500 hotel rooms seems set to be met and exceeded three years early, which is a statement of the confidence that the tourism and hospitality sector – a key part of Glasgow’s economy – has in its future growth here, and this investment can only be a good thing.”
Earlier this year, Time Out Magazine ranked Glasgow eighth in its list of the 48 best destinations in the world and named the city first for both friendliness and affordability.
Susan Deighan, Director of City Marketing and External Relations at Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is a first-choice destination for more than two million tourists every year. As part of the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023, we want to increase that number by positioning Glasgow as a cultural powerhouse and the gateway to Scotland.
"From our world-class museums to our year-long programme of sporting and cultural events, Glasgow remains a beacon for tourists and if we are to increase the number of overnight stays in the city then visitors need a range of quality accommodation options. This increase in hotel rooms is testament to our success and, working with our partners and the city’s tourism industry, we look forward to adding further provision in the months ahead and further strengthening Glasgow’s reputation as a vibrant, culturally-rich destination with an unrivalled visitor experience and world-class customer service.”