This year Edinburgh also faced stiff competition from a number of regional cities, which jumped several places in the overall standings, including Glasgow - up three places into seventh, with a score of 3.65.

Colliers’ index, now in its fourth year, ranked Edinburgh first overall with a score of 3.86, down slightly on the 3.97 awarded in 2018. The UK Hotels Market Index is an analysis of 34 locations across the UK, scored in five categories, to give an overall rank that determines the ‘hot spots’ for hotel development and acquisition across the country.

Alistair Letham, Director, Hotels Agency, Colliers International in Scotland, said: “Edinburgh hotels continue to enjoy levels of occupancy, revenues per room and investment levels that most other cities can only dream of.

“The first couple of months of 2019 have actually been slower in the Scottish capital, compared to 2018, but there is an expectation that visitors will be returning in ever greater numbers when the season gets going. This is reflected in the number of new hotel developments in the city: the new hotels at the St James’ Centre, Virgin Victoria Street, Torphichen Street, Morrison Street and a new Premier Inn on Princes Street will soon be joining the new openings around the airport, which kicked off 2019.

“That said, Glasgow is clearly catching up. The Hydro has really made a difference and the city has a thriving business and conference trade. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh are among the top five cities in terms of development, with an extra 10.5% and 13.5% capacity respectively set to be added in the next two years.”

Letham said that while there was understandable caution among investors and developers around Brexit, he was not aware of any Scottish developments that had been postponed or cancelled.

In the last 12 months Edinburgh hotels grew their revenue per available room (RevPAR) by 6.1% on average. The city was beaten only by Liverpool in this key industry measure of profitability.

Edinburgh’s daily room rate averaged £104 last year, up from £103 in 2017. Only hoteliers in London (£150) and Bath (£117) enjoyed higher prices.

Edinburgh and Glasgow topped the Colliers’ Development/RevPAR index, a combination of the land cost, build cost, 2018 occupancy and the active development pipeline. This index ranks the best markets with regards to hotel performance in relation to the costs of development.

Letham said: “The fact that two Scottish cities topped the Development/RevPAR index, a key measure for investors, is a very promising sign for both the hotel operating and construction industries.”

Marc Finney, Head of Hotels & Resorts Consulting at Colliers International, concluded: “Overall the UK hotel sector is in rude health. Operating performance is holding up well in most UK markets and London continues to perform well.  The UK hotel market adds about 10,000 new rooms each year and this has increased in pace recently with almost 18,000 new rooms expected to open in 2019.  This leaves hotels as a rare bright spot in a property market which is facing challenges in other sectors.”