Article

GCU researchers to lead Scottish tourism survey

12 January 2017
A traditional Mongolian yurt at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. Photo: VisitScotland

Tourism and travel experts at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will deliver a key national survey for VisitScotland.

Researchers from the University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development have been commissioned to conduct the Scottish Accommodation Occupancy Survey (SAOS).

SAOS provides detailed data on overnight stays in Scotland and includes hotels, guest houses and B&Bs, caravan and camping parks, self-catering and hostels.

Its data is used by the Scottish Government, local authorities and public bodies to calculate tourism value and performance. It is also incorporated into the UK Occupancy Survey, in turn informing the UK Government.

The Moffat Centre successfully tendered against a wide range of international agencies to secure the three-year contract.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre, said: “The Scottish Accommodation Occupancy Survey is the single most quoted source in tourism and is a critical benchmarking tool for the sector at a local and national level. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to lead its development over the next three years.”

SAOS was first commissioned in the 1970s and the 2015 survey reported a six percent increase in seaside hotel room occupancy rates, whilst Argyll, Loch Lomond & Forth Valley recorded the greatest bed and room occupancy increases.

Susan Dickie, Head of Insight at VisitScotland, said: “VisitScotland is committed to working closely with partners across Scotland and being responsive to industry needs, to ensure local success. We are very pleased to be working with Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre to develop this key piece of research and increase its usefulness for tourism businesses across the country.”

The Moffat Centre has extensive research experience, which includes producing the Visitor Attraction Monitor and monthly Barometer, the unrivalled analysis of Scottish visitor attraction performance.