Edinburgh Tourism Showcase helps hospitality businesses warm up for winter

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

Boom town: A four-star hotel in Edinburgh currently costs an average of £207.51
Boom town: A four-star hotel in Edinburgh currently costs an average of £207.51
As yesterday’s ‘Spotlight on Edinburgh’showed, tourism in the Scottish capital has been booming of late. But a brand new industry event - the Edinburgh Tourism Showcase – has been launched to help hospitality businesses prepare for the impending winter season.

Just over four million UK holidaymakers are expected to visit Edinburgh this year, boosting the local economy by £1.2bn.​And, with the Fringe festival in full swing, the city has been found to be the most expensive place to stay in the UK.

According to a TripAdvisor survey, a break for two in Edinburgh (including a hotel stay, pre-dinner Martinis an evening meal out and taxi rides) costs £298.46. A four-star hotel in the capital is £207.51, compared with two nights in a similar Glasgow hotel which is £108.25 a night.

James Kay, TripAdvisor spokesman, said: "With the great summer we've been enjoying, staycations are sure to be a popular choice for UK travellers over the August bank holiday, but where you go will have a big impact on how much you're likely to spend.

"Generally, the further north you go the less you'll need to fork out for hotels and dinner, but there are some notable exceptions to that rule.”

Maximising opportunities

But unfortunately for hospitality businesses it’s not a year-round high. Go back to January, for example, and the average hotel price was much lower, at just £85 a night. With the Edinburgh Tourism Showcase, help is at hand.

The free-to-attend event, which is taking place at the EICC on Thursday 5 September, aims to attract those who come into contact with visitors on a day-to-day basis, ranging from concierges to front-of-house staff in bars and restaurants, as well as marketing and business development staff from hotels.

A winter-focussed ETAG Business Opportunity Guide will be launched at the Showcase, containing lots of information, case studies and top tips to help businesses maximise the opportunities that the winter season can offer.

Edinburgh 2020

Businesses will also have the opportunity to sign up for a new Winter Product Innovation Workshops which will help them think about how they can innovate around their winter offer, and partner with others.

“Filling the spare capacity in Edinburgh over the winter months is a high priority,” said Robin Worsnop, chair of the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. The under-use of accommodation is also reflected in other sectors of tourism, particularly in restaurants, attractions, air and rail capacity; but also in arts and entertainment venues.  

“The Showcase will help businesses identify opportunities to collaborate and create new winter offers which attract additional visitors, and at the same time enable tourism operators to more effectively exploit the wide range of activities, events and performances and attractions that are already in place across the city over the winter period.”

One of the key objectives of the Edinburgh2020 Tourism Strategy is to reduce seasonality across the sector. The target is to achieve 50 per cent of the projected additional visits during the months of October to March.

This winter-focused Tourism Showcase is an element of the implementation plan that has been developed specifically to help achieve this objective.

Up to 50 exhibitors will be promoting their winter offers at the event and guests can register for free here.

VIDEO: Spotlight on Edinburgh

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