Recent tourism figures show an increase in the number of visitors looking to ‘get away’ to Scotland over the festive break. Last December, nearly a million* over night stays were snapped up and it looks like the trend, to sample Scottish hospitality, is set to continue.
That’s according to Scottish Independent Hostels (SiH) whose members have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries from families and groups looking for a budget break.
And it’s not just the number of enquiries that’s on the up – the types of people looking to bed down in a bunker, lighthouse or railway carriage has also changed.
Andrew Donaldson, Chairman of SiH, explains: “Scotland’s hostel industry has always attracted independently-minded travelers looking for a high standard of accommodation with its own unique character.
“However, we are now seeing a new type of guest keen to experience hostel holidaying for the first time. Clearly, value is a driving force, but we are also seeing a new appreciation of simple living and time together which fits well with what hostel accommodation offers.”
Like B&Bs, hostels are star rated to reflect the standard of accommodation. Habitat at Ballater for example offers a stylish ensuite facilities and underfloor heating with free WiFi; meanwhile the Lazy Duck in Nethy Bridge – one of Europe’s smallest hostels - wows their visitors with fresh baked bread, free range eggs and sauna.
Accommodation in any one of SiH’s quality assured accommodation starts from just £10.50 a night with ‘late availability’ special offers now available for the festive season.
Offers include kids stay free in Portree Independent Hostel in Skye or a family discount and free organic eggs and tatties at Cullen Harbour Hostel in Moray!
A VisitScotland spokesman said: “Winter is one of the most visually stunning times of year to visit Scotland and our Winter White campaign attracts more visitors to Scotland in the traditionally quieter winter months. Last year, the campaign brought in around £66 million for Scottish businesses.”