VisitScotland.com is reporting increased demand for self-catering accommodation. Throughout the month of June, over 37% of the top 20 searches conducted were for self-catering accommodation thanks to recent developments to the home page search tools.
The main development has been the launch of IONA (Inventory Online Access) which provides self-catering businesses across Scotland full control of their availability and pricing by allowing accommodation providers to amend their details, online, which are then automatically updated on the VisitScotland.com website.
Almost 30,000 searches were conducted via the website for self catering accommodation during June with popular destinations including the Highlands, Skye, Mid Argyll and Kintyre; highlighting a growing trend for self catering holidays in Scotland.
The number of self-catering bookings for the first six months of 2006 exceeds the total amount taken in 2005 and is it projected that by the end of the year a 100% growth in the self-catering area will be achieved.
Announcing the figures, Marco Truffelli, Chief Executive of VisitScotland.com, said: “Looking at the figures, it is clear there is healthy demand for self-catering being generated and demonstrated by VisitScotland.com. I would urge self-catering businesses to take advantage of the demand that has been created - by making use of the IONA system to show availability. “
p>David Smythe, Chairman of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), said: “The figures produced by VisitScotland.com demonstrate an encouraging and steady appetite for self-catering holidays in Scotland as visitors are actively looking for available property, even at this time of the year.
“The message is that if self-catering businesses register with IONA and show availability, then this demand should be matched with available property, making it easier for the visitor to book their holidays as IONA lists properties that are available first.
“This has been a difficult year for some self-catering accommodation providers and I would encourage any operators who have availability to consider IONA and VisitScotland.com as part of their marketing strategy.”