Scotland business

Aberdeen hotels 'hit by lower oil price'

Hotel room Image copyright Thinkstock

Aberdeen's hotel sector is beginning to feel the impact of the lower oil price, according to a monthly survey.

Accountants BDO found hotel occupancy and revenue both fell in the Granite City in February.

Occupancy dipped 1.6%, while rooms yield was down by 4.1% during the month.

The price of Brent crude oil currently stands at about $65 a barrel - about $50 less than its high point last year of $115.

Overall, revenue and occupancy rose slightly in Scotland in February, despite the dip in Aberdeen.

Year-on-year revenue rose 6% to £46.03, compared with increases of 11.3% in regional UK, 12.1% in England and 5% in Wales.

Occupancy rose 2.6%, compared with increases of 3.1% in regional UK, 3.2% in England and 2.2% in Wales.

Inverness performed strongly in the month, with occupancy up by 12.6% and rooms yield rising by 21.6%.

Edinburgh and Glasgow also saw increases in occupancy and revenue.

'Improving market'

Alastair Rae, from BDO, said: "The expected fall in demand and its consequent impact on occupancy and revenue has begun in Aberdeen as the oil and gas sector reviews its spending in the city.

"There have already been substantial job losses in the sector and a shifting of the workforce to other fields, so it is to be expected that the hospitality sector will bear the brunt of some of this downturn.

"However, it should be remembered that the revenue figure for Aberdeen is the highest outside London despite the dip, so there is still some way to go before doom and gloom descends upon the marketplace."

He added: "Aberdeen aside, these figures continue to point to an improving market for the hospitality sector as the economy gets better and both business and leisure travellers start to spend once again."

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