Princes Street, Edinburgh


The October figures for footfall and retail sales follow

a similar pattern to previous months with our footfall

performing exceptionally well against UK and Scottish

averages but Edinburgh’s retail sales again performing less

well than in other parts of the country.

The footfall figures are especially positive with a significant rise both on

September’s and last year’s numbers. The figures for the BID area again show

a healthy rise above other parts of the city. This combined with an 88% hotel

occupancy rate and another annual rise in passenger numbers arriving at the

airport show clearly Edinburgh remained vibrant during October.

The City of Edinburgh Council are currently consulting on a new parking

strategy including introducing charges in the evenings and on Sundays.

Essential Edinburgh have canvassed the views of city centre businesses

and are meeting elected members to discuss the negative response to the

proposals. With the closing of the St James car park in 2016 the pressure on

car parking spaces will be increased with

solutions needed.

Roddy Smith

Chief Executive


Hotel Occupancy Page 3

October Footfall index Page 4

Day & night pedestrian

traffic Page 9

Sales Monitors Page 12

Parking Page 14

Convention Bureau Page 16

Edinburgh Airport Page 18


Edinburgh Hotels Data for September 2015

The latest available data for September 2015 from STR

Global shows that 88 percent of rooms were occupied in

Edinburgh during the month. The average daily rate for

rooms sold was £95.34 whilst the revenue averaged across

all available rooms was £87.96. This is based on a sample of

99 hotels totalling 10,525 rooms in Edinburgh.

The latest data for

September 2015 shows

that occupancy was

marginally below the

last two years and

revenue per room was

lower than the previous

year. The occupancy

rate in September 2015

was 88 percent, while in

2014 was 92.7 percent,

and the rate in

September 2013 was

91.3 percent. Revenue

per available room

decreased in cash terms by 9.2 percent on last year from £96.85 to £87.96.

The chart below shows the annual trend in hotel occupancy for Edinburgh and

other Scottish cities. All three months of Edinburgh 2015 summer season

(June-August) saw room occupancy above 90%. This trend continued into

Autumn with

September seeing

over 95%


This was higher

than other Scottish

cities during this

time and even

higher than the

high occupancy

witnessed in

September 2014



Edinburgh footfall index 2015

Edinburgh footfall figures for October 2015 are up by 7.3%

compared to October 2014 and up by 5.6% compared to

September 2015. The UK footfall shows a decrease year on

year of -0.4% and an increase of 1.3% compared to last


Princes Street was the busiest spot in

the city centre with 1,146,359 people

counted during October 2015.

Comparing this to last year shows an

increase of 1.9%, this is higher than

the national average which decreased

by -0.4% compared with last year.

Monthly pedestrian numbers in the

city centre follow an annual trend.

They increase to their highest level of

the year in August and fall to the

lowest monthly totals during January

and February before starting to

increase again over spring and into

the summer months. In October, the

last month in which figures are

available, footfall increased by 5.6%

on the previous month. The tables

below show footfall in the city centre

and a breakdown by counter area.

The daily information for the previous

month is also presented in the charts.

The UK footfall Index for October

shows an increase of 1.3% compared

to September 2015 but a decrease of

-0.4% compared to October 2014.


Helen Dickinson, Director General,

British Retail Consortium commenting

on the UK footfall, said: “The locations

consumers are choosing to shop

remains in a state of flux. While the

rate of decline in footfall across high

streets and shopping centres appears

to have stabilised, more and more

shoppers are choosing to visit retail

parks which offer a greater mix of

leisure and retail.

“There is a little cheer in the news that

vacancies have fallen once again.

However in order for this good news

to be sustainable, action is urgently

needed to reform business rates.

Otherwise the new occupants of

these premises will, in the not too

distant future, find themselves

struggling under the weight of

ballooning bills.

If the burden of business

rates continues to grow as it

has in the past, today’s

vacancy figure may become

but a distant, happy memory.

Action now will ensure our

high streets remain vibrant

and viable long into the



Edinburgh footfall index, 2015 cont...



Edinburgh footfall index, 2015 cont...


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area

In October annual comparable footfall is up by 8.2 percent

in the BID area on last year, with a large increase in footfall

during the early morning hours.

Yearly Comparison

Compared to last year footfall has shown an overall increase in October 2015.

This hides a lot of variation which we can see by breaking the day down

into three periods: morning; core retail hours; and evening hours. The most

noticeable change in October was the 12.6 % increase in the Morning hours.

The core retail period this October was 7.9 % higher than last year, and the

early evening period increased by 7.4 %.

Monthly comparison

Overall footfall increased by 7.8% compared to September 2015 in the BID

area. In the evening period there was a decrease of 5.2 %, the core retail

period increased by 11.8 %, and the morning hour period showed a decrease

of 0.5 %.


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area cont...

The chart below shows the change in

footfall over four different three hour

periods. Around nine out of every ten

visitors in the city centre are recorded

over this 12 hour period. The largest

change in footfall in the city centre

compared to last year occurred in

the morning period after 11am where

footfall increased by 9.1 % on last


The change this October compared

to September 2015 shows an

increase in footfall numbers. In

the time period after 8am footfall

increased by 7.0 %, between 11am

and 2pm footfall increased by 13.4

%. The after 2pm time period also

increased by 12.9 % compared to

last month. The after 5pm time period

saw a decrease of 0.6 %.

Note: BID area = Month and annual comparison includes counter locations: FCUK Frederick

Street; Jenners Rose Street; M&S Princes Street; Natwest George Street; Tiso Rose Street; and

South St Andrew Street.



Sales Monitors for October 2015

Edinburgh retail sales were down -3.2% in October

2015 compared to this month in 2014. This means that

Edinburgh’s retailers performed worse than their Scottish

peers as the Scottish average fell 2.4% on a year earlier; in

the entire UK, however, sales were up 0.9%.

Retailers participating in the Retail

Monitoring Programme reported

these figures for October 2015.

The figures for Edinburgh are based

on a sample of city centre retailers.

As in the previous month, the majority

of participating retailers reported

positive year-on-year growth but

bigger department stores (with more

floorspace) were more likely to report

negative figures, bringing down the

average. The figures for Scotland and

the UK were reported from the

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor and

the BRC Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Hospitality businesses that take part

in the Hospitality Monitoring

Programme reported an increase in

sales of 7.0% for October.

Edinburgh has many elements for

visitors and locals to enjoy alongside

shopping, and although the retail

figures were down on October 2014

the figures for the hospitality sector

are very encouraging and match the

rise in footfall overall as well as the

time segments for lunch and early


David McCorquodale, head of retail at

KPMG, said the retail figures in

Scotland were “a sobering reminder of

the frailty of the economic recovery”.

He added: “There is no doubt the

decline in Scottish retail sales in

October, when measured against a

relatively weak month last year, are

disappointing for retailers when set

against mainly dry weather and

Roddy Smith, Chief

Executive of Essential

Edinburgh, said: “With

city centre footfall up

over 7% in October it

is dissapointing for

our city centre

retailers that this

increased footfall has

not resulted in

increased sales. The

city centre of


temperatures only marginally warmer

than average.”

Mr McCorquodale said the weather

“wasn’t cold enough” for sales of

coats or boots to do well, adding that

with shoppers “perhaps waiting for

heavy promotions, retailers were left

pushing themed products for


He said the next few weeks would be

vital for retailers with the tactics

around Black Friday and the run-up to

Christmas beginning to unfold.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief

executive Helen Dickinson,

commenting on the UK figures, said:

“The locations consumers are

choosing to shop remains in a state of

flux. While the rate of decline in footfall

across high streets and shopping

centres appears to have stabilised,

more and more shoppers are

choosing to visit retail parks which

offer a greater mix of leisure and


You are sent this information before publication in Essential Trends

if you agree to participate in the City Centre Monitoring Project. For

more information about how to participate in the Tunover

Monitoring Project please contact Tom Mathar, Research Manager

at LJ Research, who manage this project on our behalf: or 0131 623 6217.


Parking Index: data 2015

Parking is important for businesses in the city centre and

the information below shows the number of times and

length of time each parking bay is used during the

chargeable period. The higher the turnover of paid parking

spaces the more opportunities for shoppers to find a space.

In the New Town there are 959 bays in zones 1A and 2,

which covers the Essential Edinburgh BID area.

It should be noted, that the

average daily number of

transactions per bay during

trading hours and the average

length of time parked are derived

from transactions at parking ticket

machines, varies throughout the

year. The relatively low number of

daily transactions per bay is likely to

be due to the usage of the bays by

holders of resident’s parking permits.

In the New Town over October 2015,

the average turnover of parking

spaces per day was 1.8. This

compares to 2.3 in the Old Town, 1.6

in the West End and 0.8 in the East


Parking utilisation

Shoppers looking to park their car

are more likely to find a space in the

streets that are less utilised. It is clear


that West Register Street had the

highest levels of utilisation. This

means that the parking bays were

used much more than the average of

the bays in other streets. Thistle

Street, North Castle Street, Queen

Street and George Street are all used

more than average for parking. The

other streets are used less than

average for parking with Glenfinlas

Street having the lowest utilisation of

paid parking spaces within the New


This table reflects the levels of usage of parking bays during the times when parking

charges are levied: Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 5:30pm in areas with lower parking

ticket sales and 8:30am – 6:30pm in areas with higher ticket sales.

For real time information on utilisation rates in off-street car parks

follow this link:


Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the

world, and encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film


Business Tourism

Business Tourism is vital to the

economy of the city and delivers

significant financial benefits for

the city. It also positions the city

positively in key industry sectors,

brings global expertise into the

community and provides a platform

for future investment.

Convention Edinburgh (CE) attended

IMEX America where enquiries to

the value of £14.9M in economic

impact were generated. These are

being followed up and distributed to

members for proposals and quotes.

In addition CE hosted a client dinner

with key North American buyers.

CE also attended IBTM last week –

this is one of the key European trade

shows that takes place in Barcelona

and gives CE the opportunity to meet

with UK and European buyers. CE

had 53 pre scheduled appointments

and a number of walk ins to the


CE, alongside Glasgow and

Gleneagles, hosted the Professional

Convention Management Association

(PCMA) Global Medical Meetings

Summit. This invitation-only

event attracted the leaders in

global medical meetings, with

representatives from the American

Society of Anaesthesiologists,

Societe Internationale d’Urologie,

American Thyroid Association,

World Allergy Association, American

College of Emergency Physicians,

Scoliosis Research Society and

American College of Genetics

and Genomics. Together they set

about defining the most pressing

challenges facing global medical

conferences and defining possible

solutions with take-home strategies.

Edinburgh closed the proceedings

at the Edinburgh International

Conference Centre (EICC) and finale

dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia

on Sunday 15th November.

Since April 2015, Convention

Edinburgh alongside its members

has confirmed 83 conferences,

attracting just over 46,000 delegates

to the city between 2015 and

2021 with an economic benefit of

over £50.5M. Over the last month

(October) Convention Edinburgh has

secured 13 new conferences with a

combined economic benefit of just

under £8.2M.


40% of visitors to the UK are inspired

by images they have seen on the


screen. Edinburgh hosts over 300

film/TV productions a year.

Two BBC drama series concluded

filming in Edinburgh in November.

The Secret Agent, an adaptation

of Joseph Conrad’s novel, and

One Of Us by the creators of hit TV

drama The Missing, have between

them filmed for over 100 days in

the Edinburgh city region. Each

production also spent at least 2

months preparing of their shoots in

production offices on the south side

of the city, bringing employment

opportunities to the Edinburgh’s

crew base. Several other members

of Edinburgh’s production crew

base are gainfully employed on

Outlander series 2 which continues

filming in the Lothians as well as Fife,

Perthshire, Falkirk and other central

counties. We can expect to see The

Secret Agent and One Of Us on BBC

TV in Autumn 2016.

Also in November, Take Me Out

filmed in Edinburgh city centre as one

of the participants is local. We can

expect to see this on primetime ITV 1

in January.

Meanwhile, the prospects for 2016

are looking good as we are dealing

with several interested and interesting

drama shoots that we hope to entice

to our film friendly city.

Film Edinburgh promotes Edinburgh

as a filming destination. Stunning

locations and a film-friendly

reputation are key to attracting

productions. Businesses interested

in registering as a location or service

can contact Rosie Ellison at Film

Edinburgh to find out more and sign

up for free.


Tel 0131 622 7337.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences which will take place

during February, March and April

2016 have a combined value of over

£11M and will attract over 4,330

delegates. These include:

Confirmed Conferences

23 - 25 Feb 2016, International Conference on Ocean

Energy ICOE’ 16, 1000 delegates

29 Feb - 3 March 2016, Chartered Institute of Housing

Scotland, 1200 delegates

3 - 4 March 2016, CIPD’s Annual Scottish Conference, 300


7 - 11 March 2016, National Association of Pension Funds

Conference, 850 delegates

7 - 10 March 2016, Developments in Power System

Protection, 300 delegates


Sixth consecutive ‘one million passenger month’

for Edinburgh Airport

Near double digit passenger increase from October 2014

Edinburgh Airport has today

welcomed passenger figures for the

month of October with 1,004,439

passengers through its doors -

meaning a sixth consecutive month

with over one million passengers.

October’s passenger figures show a

9.7 per cent increase from the same

month last year and reach similar

levels to the height of summer of

two years ago when in July 2013

Edinburgh Airport hit its first 1 million

passenger month.

This success is largely due to the

continued strong performance of

our routes to London, across the

UK, as well as all of our European

destinations. Additionally, the

success of a transatlantic route into

JFK, and the continuing popularity

of our new relationship with Etihad -

which launched in June - has helped

further boost these figures and builds

on the on-going success of Qatar


Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of

Edinburgh Airport, said:

“October’s figure showing a sixth

consecutive one million passenger

month is a tremendous achievement

for Edinburgh Airport – and is a

direct result of our commitment to

increasing passenger connectivity


“This record-breaking performance

is a sure sign of the growing success

of both Scotland and Edinburgh as a

destination and also emphasises our

position as a key driver for Scotland’s

economic growth.


“With over one million passengers

through our doors at Edinburgh

Airport last month we reached similar

levels as we did July 2013 – the

height of our summer peak season

– it shows that we are continuing to

grow, create jobs and make a positive

contribution for Scotland’s economy.

“Edinburgh Airport is going from

strength to strength – with more

airlines and greater choice of routes

to London, the rest of the UK, Europe

and across the globe - and we are

well on course to make 2015 our

busiest year ever.”

More information from:

Gordon Robertson, Director of Communications

07785 372961 or email:


To contact Essential Edinburgh:

139 George Street

Edinburgh, EH2 4JY

t: +44 (0) 131 220 8580



© Essential Edinburgh .

To contact the City of Edinburgh Council

t: +44 (0) 131 200 2000


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