The online travel agent (OTA) said Edinburgh has become one of the top city destinations in the UK, with hotel demand up over 30 per cent in the third quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2013. In fact, searches for hotel stays in the Scottish capital for the last month and a half of the year were up 40 per cent over last year.
Searches for Edinburgh accommodation came mainly from US, German, Australian and Irish travellers in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, while Indonesia, Venezuela and Austria were the fastest-growing international travel markets searching for the city.
Meanwhile, searches for Glasgow hotels were up almost 50 per cent compared to last year, mainly from the US, Iceland, Canada, Ireland and Australia.
Mobile bookings to Scotland are also growing, with most of the demand coming from the US, Canada and Norway. Brazil, Hong Kong, Spain and Japan were the fastest-growing markets for mobile demand in the third quarter of 2014 and over a quarter of mobile business was booked within three days of the stay date.
Length of stay
Expedia data from December 2013 also revealed that international travellers to Edinburgh and Glasgow stayed longer, booked further in advance and paid more for their room than domestic travellers.
British travellers to Edinburgh stayed 1.8 days, whereas with the French, Norwegians and Germans stayed around one to 1.5 days longer.
Australian travellers booked their stay in Edinburgh 89 days ahead – a month and a half earlier than Brits at 36 days. Australians also paid £25 more than domestic tourists for their hotel room – the most out of all markets.
Isabelle Pinson, senior director of market management for the UK & Ireland at the Expedia group, said: “Scotland has had a great year and it’s encouraging to see travellers continuing to search for Scottish cities in the lead up to Christmas. We’re not just seeing demand for Edinburgh and Glasgow but also Aberdeen and Inverness so we’re looking forward to helping our hotel partners finish the year with a bang.”
Expedia has increased the number of hotel partners it works with in Scotland by 19 percent in the last year and is recruiting more staff to meet the growing demand.
“We know hotels like to have international travellers because they book further in advance, spend more and are less likely to cancel due to booking their hotel room alongside a flight, which is usually non-refundable,” Pinson added.