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Tourists: Edinburgh hotels overpriced

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A third of tourists complained their hotel in Edinburgh was not value for money, according to new VisitScotland research.

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A third of tourists complained their hotel in Edinburgh was not value for money, according to new VisitScotland research.

An in-depth survey of visitors by the national tourism agency has revealed widespread concerns about the prices charged by the city’s hotel operators.

Other concerns included the cost of travel and the lack of sea routes linking the city with other parts of Europe.

However, visitors were full of praise for the city’s offering of festivals and events and the friendly and efficient service they received in hotels.

Two thirds of the people surveyed in the research also said that they were “very satisfied” with their overall experience of Edinburgh, while 84 per cent said they would “definitely” recommend the city to others and nearly half said they would be returning within five years.

The biggest gripe was the cost of accommodation, with 37 per cent saying they were not satisfied with the availability of low-cost accommodation and one third saying that their accommodation was not value for money.

Hotel leaders dismissed the concerns about price and said that the city remained affordable when compared with rival European cities.

Colin Paton, chairman of the Edinburgh Hotels Association said: “What is important is to look at other cities around Europe because, if you want to be a global competitor, that is what you need to do.

“Edinburgh is the most expensive city in the UK after London but that is not surprising – it was never going to be Leeds or Manchester because the appeal is different – but if you compare Edinburgh to Venice, Geneva or Barcelona it is not expensive.

“The fact of the matter is if people thought it was expensive then why would they keep coming?”

Graham Muir, who runs the Ardgowan House guest house on Lady Road, blamed hotel booking agencies for sending customers to high-priced hotels.

He said: “There is accommodation there that is competitive but they are directing customers to where they get the highest mark-ups.”

Councillor Tom Buchanan, the city’s economic development leader, said: “This is yet another survey which demonstrates Edinburgh’s success as a major gateway, as well as highlighting excellent satisfaction levels of visitors.”

Manuela Calchini, regional director at VisitScotland, said: “Understanding what our visitors enjoy is crucial if we are to make the most of every opportunity that tourism has to offer.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.