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Scots hotels fare better than UK

Scotland's hotels outstripped the rest of the UK in both occupancy and revenues last year amid a mixed picture for the sector, according to the latest report by accountants and business advisers PKF.

The annual figures, influenced heavily by a buoyant Aberdeen, show Scottish hotel occupancy was up 0.3% year-on-year to 73.9% compared to 70.7% in "regional UK" and 70.2% in England. Rooms yield (the industry measure of revenue) was down 0.3% year on year at £50.02 compared with £42.43 in regional UK and £41.43 in England.

Edinburgh suffered a surprise fall of 2% in occupancy and 4% in revenue over the course of 2012, whereas Aberdeen saw occupancy rise by 5.7% and revenues soar by 11.1%.

Glasgow battled to an occupancy increase of 0.8%, while revenue fell 0.4%. In Inverness, occupancy increased by 1.5% and revenue by 0.6%.

Alastair Rae, a partner in the Real Estate and Hospitality sector at PKF, said: "These figures reveal just how difficult 2012 was for the hospitality sector. Edinburgh was worst hit with reduced occupancy and revenue. Glasgow and Inverness did well to stay broadly in positive territory. Aberdeen had a very successful year on the back of high oil prices."

He went on: "Although revenue in Edinburgh hotels remained relatively high at £55.84, the concern is that occupancy averaged less than Aberdeen, Glasgow or Inverness for the year, which is extremely unusual and indicative of just how difficult last year was for the capital."

Mr Rae warned: "With little sign of any improvement in the wider economy, it is likely that we will see more of the same during 2013. Hoteliers are being battered by an unforgiving economic storm which will be eroding the surpluses that remain from better trading periods."

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