HOTEL occupancy in Glasgow soared during the Commonwealth Games to reach record levels, new figures have revealed.
Average occupancy across nine nights of the Games from July 23 to 31 reached 97.3 per cent, reflecting an 11.2 per cent rise over the same period in 2013.
It is the highest July occupancy in the city on record, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent, say the authors, the tourism market research specialists LJ Research,
Occupancy performed strongly across July as a whole, averaging 88.5 per cent for the month.
Details of the boom came as David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 chief executive, said the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games set a "new gold standard" for the movement.
A report examining the impact of the Games on Glasgow and Scotland found there were more than 600,000 individual visitors to Games and Festival 2014 events between July 23 and August 3.
Many visitors attended several events, with 1.2 million tickets sold - about 96 per cent of those available for sale.
The Games appeared to have a positive impact on retail. During Glasgow 2014 the number of shoppers in the city increased by just under 22 per cent compared to the same period last year, while across Scotland the figure was up by almost 14 per cent. Some 86 per cent of spectators at ticketed events said they were likely or very likely to recommend attendance at future events in Glasgow and Scotland.
The majority of visitors reported a positive experience, with 97 per cent of spectators at ticketed events saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the atmosphere in the venue. More than nine in 10 (91 per cent) of spectators at ticketed events said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall Games experience.
LJ Forecaster said its report showed the scale of industry growth in the city in the last decade, with average occupancy recorded for July 2004 reaching just 77 per cent. It is the first time since record-keeping began in 1999 that average occupancy in July has risen above 82 per cent. 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.
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 per cent 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."
Mr Grevemberg said: "The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games set a new gold standard for the Commonwealth sports movement, some new benchmarks for large-scale event delivery in Scotland and generated many well-deserved accolades for Glasgow which, as the host city, warmly embraced athletes and visitors during Scotland's biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival."