An Immediate Market Opportunity
Stirling has a strategic requirement for a large and high profile quality hotel operated by a national or international chain. Currently, there are only 13 hotels in the Stirling urban area. The Collessio and the Stirling Highland Hotel are the only 4 star hotels in the city and offer just 136 bed spaces between them. There is significant market opportunity for a hotel of this type for both the leisure and business tourism markets.
Currently Stirling’s hotels have an average occupancy of 76%, with particularly strong performance over the summer months, and in £132m was spent on serviced accommodation in the area in 2014.
Three years ago a commission was undertaken to assess the future accommodation demand potential and future market needs of the Stirling Council area. The study was comprehensive and the results were that, based on the Low Scenario for the overall Stirling Council area, there was a theoretical requirement for an increase in hotel bedrooms of 347 rooms (a 16% increase in stock) by 2020 and in the High Scenario 748 rooms, a 35% increase in stock by 2020. Nearly 40% of the new stock was estimated to be required in the Stirling City sub-area. (Stirling Council, Tourism and Accommodation Audit 2012).
Since that time several new hotels of varying rating standard have been established in the Stirling Council area with an estimated overall room total of 200. However, during this time the number of visitors to the area has also risen significantly.
It is easy to deduce from these figures therefore that there is still a significant shortfall in available rooms to meet projected demand based on even the lowest increase scenario and in particular at the higher end of accomodation.
Stirling has a diverse business mix with established sectors such as financial services being complemented by our growth areas such as the 40 research and development firms based at the Stirling University Innovation Park. Combined with superb connections by road and rail, and only 30 mins from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling is perfectly placed to take a big share of Scotland’s business tourism market.
However, the absence of another quality hotel of scale in the city is one of the chief reasons that Stirling does not take a bigger share of this significant market.
In 2014, there were 1.92m business trips to Scotland with an average stay duration of 5.11 nights generating £465m.
In Stirling during 2014 there were 79,000 business trips from the rest of the UK (average stay of 3 night) and 10,000 from overseas (average stay of 4 nights) with an average daily spend of £104.
In a comprehensive survey of conference organisers and intermediaries in 2013 the vast majority of those who would not bring business to the area cited the absence of a 4 or 5 star hotel as the only reason.