The LJ Forecaster report, from tourism research specialists LJ Research, revealed that hotel occupancy in the city averaged 80.4 per cent for the period April 2013 to March 2014, a 3.6 per cent increase on 2012/13.
The report stated that Glasgow’s performance was boosted by average occupancy levels of 78 per cent during March – the 10th consecutive month of growth for the city and the highest level recorded in March since 2007.
Average room rates were also up for the month, rising almost 20 per cent to £69.28.
Sean Morgan, managing director at LJ Research, said: “Although room rates for the 2013/14 financial year were largely comparable with the previous 12 months, Glasgow’s hoteliers have benefited from an increase in consumer demand of around 5 per cent on 2012/13. This is a real result against a backdrop of difficult economic conditions affecting national and international markets.
“What will be most pleasing to city hoteliers though is the strong start made to 2014. Our LJ Forecaster data shows significant growth between January and March in the volume of rooms being sold and room value, in terms of the price they are being sold at.”
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said it believed the influx of tourists to Glasgow in March could be attributed to big events that took place during the month.
Occupancy peaked at 97 per cent on March 15, when Glasgow hosted the British Masters Cross Country Championships, and March 19, when European Breast Cancer Conference was held at the SECC.
Other big events during the month included the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Disney on Ice, and Michael Buble performing at the SSE Hydro.
Philip Mellor, general manager of Menzies Hotel and co-chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association (GGHA), said: “We’re seeing the significant investment that has taken place in Glasgow over the past 10-15 years, coupled with the city’s growing reputation as a host city for major events and international conferences, reflected in the strength of our hotel industry, and the wider tourism sector, today.
“This is welcome news for Glasgow’s hoteliers, during the biggest year in the city’s history, and will give continued confidence to those breaking ground on new developments or with developments coming to fruition in the near future.”
Looking to the rest of this year, Morgan said that LJ Research forecasts suggested ‘increased demand’ for April and May.
“It will be interesting to see if these positive indicators are realised as we near the Commonwealth Games period,” he added.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said 2014 was set to be a ‘bumper year’ for the city, with events including the Commonwealth Games, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the MTV European Music Awards and the Liberal Democrats’ autumn party convention.
“Glasgow’s appeal is year-round – unlike many cities, we’re no longer a seasonal destination with periods of down time,” he said.
“Our hotel sector has enjoyed 10 consecutive months of growth with some of the highest occupancy rates since records began – we’re now up there as one of the world’s must-visit destinations.”