Lanarkshire is being pitched as the ideal place to do business following a surge of new accommodation popping up in the area.
According to North Lanarkshire Council, the region can host more conferences, meetings and events thanks to an increase in overnight provision – with the number of beds available now totalling nearly 8,000.
Its latest Tourism Accommodation Audit – commissioned on behalf of both North and South Lanarkshire Councils – revealed a 12% increase in the amount of bed space in the region since 1999, when the last time a study of the same scale was conducted.
It says Lanarkshire can now accommodate 7,862 sleepers at any one time across a variety of visitor accommodation, from the likes of branded hotels Hilton Strathclyde, Macdonald Crutherland House, Westerwood Q Hotels and Holiday Inn Express, to independent hotels such as New Lanark Mill and a range of guest houses and B&Bs.
The study also shows that 84% of bed stock comes from the serviced sector – aka hotels – and 16% from the non-serviced sector, such as self-service apartments.
In total there are 3,069 bedrooms available across Lanarkshire – a figure which has quadrupled from 532 in 1999.
Of these, North Lanarkshire makes up 1,265 while South Lanarkshire offers 1,804 rooms.
Hotels account for more than two in every three (69 per cent) bedrooms available while self-catered accommodation accounts for 8%.
Meanwhile, research conducted for VisitScotland shows that Glasgow and Clyde Valley occupancy rates increased significantly between 2012 and 2014.
– In hotels, the annual average occupancy increased from 70% in 2012 to 77% in 2014.
– In self-service, the average occupancy increased from 48% in 2012 to 57% in 2014
Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership chairman Mark Calpin said: “Following a year of hosting world class events, including the rowing and triathlon events at Strathclyde Country Park as part of the Commonwealth Games and the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Motherwell, Lanarkshire has proved itself as an events destination. We want to capitalise on this and welcome more events as well as meetings and conferences to the area in the future.
“The fact that we can now accommodate more visitors is really encouraging as guaranteeing visitors can find somewhere suitable to stay is central to making this ambition happen. We want those looking for a venue to know that Lanarkshire is ready to welcome them with a great place to rest their weary head at the end of a day’s work.”