The number of new hotels and restaurants opened across Scotland fell by 22.4% during the first three months of this year, according to the latest statistics on new bank accounts.
The figures, which are issued by all four Scottish clearing banks, showed that the number of new accounts being opened in the hotel and restaurant sector fell by 114, from 509 in the first quarter of 2002 to 395 in the first quarter of 2003.
The number of new accounts opened over the same period for all sectors fell by 1,007 from 5,952 to 4,945, a drop of 16.9% compared with 2002.
Between the fourth quarter of 2002 and first quarter of 2003 there was, however, a slight increase in the number of new hotel and restaurant accounts. The figures rose from 383 to 395, an increase of 3.1%.
The all-sector figures show a more substantial rise of 925 new accounts, which represents an increase of 23.0%.
by Colin Wright