The city’s hospitality industry says the strength of the Glasgow Loves Christmas festive marketing campaign combined with extended opening hours among city centre retailers has had a positive impact on business in the first three weeks of December – with an anticipated boom still to come around Boxing Day and Hogmanay.
Ryan James, Chair of the Glasgow Restaurant Association (GRA), said restaurant revenue is up more than 10% on 2014.
He added: “With a few days still to go before Christmas Day, business across city centre restaurants has been exceptionally busy with some of our members reporting more than 10% growth year on year, both in terms of bookings and turnover.
“2015 looks like being a bumper Christmas for the trade and although new restaurant openings in Glasgow are at an all-time high, there is definitely enough business to go around. The Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign and extended store opening hours have been great news for Glasgow’s night-time economy as it has enticed shoppers, visitors and people finishing work to remain in the city centre for dinner or a few drinks.”
Revellers and businesses enjoying Christmas parties have also helped to boost Glasgow’s strong revenues with sell-out party bookings across the hotel sector.
Denis MacCann, General Manager of the city’s five-star Radisson Blu Hotel and Co-Chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association (GGHA), said: “The festive cheer is certainly alive in Glasgow’s hotels this year with several of our members reporting tangible growth in trading throughout December so far.”
Graeme Gibson, General Manager of the city’s Grand Central Hotel, added: “We’ve seen tremendous year-on-year growth over the early festive period. We’ve been operating at full capacity for Christmas party bookings throughout December and we’ve served Christmas dinner to some 8,000 people.”
Similarly, Glasgow Taxis has reported a prosperous period. Credit card bookings have trebled in December while mobile app bookings have risen by 25%, keeping the firm’s near 2,000 drivers busy.
Stephen Flynn, Vice Chair of Glasgow Taxis Ltd, said: “We’re certainly experiencing a busy December so far with credit card bookings trebling and bookings via our mobile app increasing by 25%. Safety is our key priority, so it’s great to see so many people opting for cabs rather than risking driving during the festive season.
“We’re expecting to reach our peak demand during the Christmas and New Year period, and we wish all our customers, Glaswegians and visitors to the city a very safe and happy festive season.”
And it doesn’t stop there as Glasgow is preparing for a bumper Hogmanay. A sample survey conducted by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) of seven major hotels in the city centre, representing more than 2,000 rooms, shows that hoteliers are predicting a sell-out, with occupancy expected to reach 99% on New Year’s Eve.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow is enjoying a record Christmas trading period and is looking forward to an exceptional Hogmanay. The city’s retailers, together with our restaurants, hotels and operators across the tourism and leisure sectors, have made a clear statement that Glasgow is open for business and Glaswegians and visitors alike have been drawn by the strength of the city’s festive offering. It’s true, Glasgow Loves Christmas.”
Visit www.glasgowloveshogmanay.com to find out more about Glasgow’s New Year’s Eve programme, including what’s on, where to eat and drink, where to bring in the bells and the best ways to travel around the city.