Crerar Hotels has reported a sharp spike in bookings following the announcement that travel restrictions would be lifted, and tourist accommodation able to re-open, on 26 April.
The group, which boasts seven idyllic hotels and inns in some of Scotland’s most breath-taking locations, saw a 130 per cent week-on-week increase in booking revenues after Nicola Sturgeon laid out her roadmap for bringing Scotland out of lockdown.
Online visits also shot up by 170 per cent, demonstrating strong demand from staycationers looking to take full advantage of their freedom when Crerar Hotels’ seven properties re-open on 26 April.
Chris Wayne-Wills, CEO of Crerar Hotels, said that its reservations team had taken more than 1,800 bookings in the days immediately following the Scottish Government announcement – with many guests looking for longer stays and personalised itineraries.
Wayne-Wills said: ‘Our reservations team have been exceptionally busy since the First Minister announced 26 April as the date for Scotland’s tourism industry to be able to re-open – with booking revenues almost tripling week-on-week.
‘When speaking to our future guests, it seems the real luxury they’ve been missing from their lives since the pandemic hit last year is something we used to take for granted – and that’s choice.
‘There’s a real appetite to spend longer breaks with friends and family, celebrating missed milestones, making up for lost time and making memories in a way none of us have been able to for at least a year.
‘We pride ourselves on giving our residents whatever they want to ensure a special stay, but we’re geared up to take that to the next level when we re-open our doors across our portfolio on 26 April.’
Crerar Hotels Group’s ‘I Choose’ campaign is in full swing, showcasing the breadth of choice tourists will have when they are free to travel throughout Scotland again towards the end of April.
And Wayne-Wills believes the immediate rush of staycationers eager to cross local authority boundaries that have been in place throughout the country’s three lockdowns, will breathe life back into the tourism industry by booking unique breaks that take in everything Scotland has to offer.
He added: ‘Our hotels and inns sit within some of Scotland’s most iconic locations, meaning that guests can really appreciate outstanding surroundings.
‘Whether it’s exclusive use of The Glencoe Inn for some belated family celebrations, private wine tastings at Thainstone House, or boat trips from Oban Bay Hotel & Spa or The Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, to view seals or dolphins on the west coast – or even to catch the freshest Scottish seafood to enjoy back at one of the hotels – nothing is beyond the realms of possibility and our hotels are geared up to make it happen.
‘“The ‘I Choose’ campaign that we launched in preparation for coming out of lockdown really homes in on those messages – we want to make it clear to guests that, whatever they want, we can make it happen at any of our locations.
‘Last year when hotels were looking to re-open after the first UK-wide lockdown, safety was the new luxury for guests, but keeping our guests safe goes without saying and that’s why we believe the new luxury for travellers in 2021 is choice.’
Crerar Hotels Group is already investing heavily with the aim of delivering a boost to Scottish tourism. A £3 million refurbishment is under way at the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, bringing an upgraded four-star hotel to the idyllic island, whilst The Glencoe Inn is benefitting from a half a million pound programme of works to create the ultimate stay experience in the heart of the world-famous glen.
Wayne-Wills concluded: ‘Our ongoing investment in our hotels in the midst of a pandemic is testament to not only wanting to give our guests the best possible experience as and when they can stay with us; but also, to our appetite to breathe life back into the Scottish tourism industry.
‘Now we’ve been given the word, we are ready to open our doors and give guests a quintessentially Scottish experience with low-key luxury at its heart – as well as the freedom to enjoy their stay exactly as they want to – come 26 April.’
For more information visit www.crerarhotels.com