Aberdeen, Scotland, looks to convention center for new hotel business

The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) is due to open in the summer. Photo credit: TECA

Aberdeen, Scotland, is set to get a new £333 million exhibition center that locals reportedly are hoping will boost business for the region's hotels. 

The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA), being built by the Aberdeen City Council alongside development partners Henry Boot Developments and Robertson Group, is due to open in the summer and will replace the existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Andrew Martin, vice-chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association, told local newspaper the Evening Express the convention center, along with incoming cruise business, could be a "real game changer" for the region's hospitality and tourism sectors. The area's hotels reportedly have faced low occupancy and rates in recent years and several properties have closed or gone on the market. 

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“We have just come out of an era from 2015 to 2018 where we have seen a huge increase in the supply of hotels,” Martin told the paper. At the same time, demand has fallen with the decline of the oil and gas markets in the region. “The dollar price coming down meant there was less need for accommodation and this has given a difficult trading environment for hotels,” causing more competition for less business.

The VisitScotland and VisitAberdeenshire tourism boards have worked to reposition the area as a leisure destination and are looking to support local businesses. “We have listened to the concerns of the hospitality sector and introduced a real terms, 12.5 percent cap on rates increases for all but the largest hospitality premises,” a Scottish Government spokeswoman told the paper. “We have also listened to the asks of Scottish businesses to deliver a below-inflation increase in the poundage in 2019-20 and extended transitional relief for all but the largest hospitality premises across Scotland," she said.

“The budget maintained the most generous package of reliefs in the UK, worth [more than] £750 million and ensures over 90 percent of properties in Scotland, including all small and medium-size businesses, will pay a lower poundage than they would in other parts of the UK," the spokeswoman added.

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