'Cautious optimism' for Aberdeen hotels as oil price rises
A rising oil price means 2017 can be approached with "cautious optimism" by Aberdeen's hospitality sector, it has been claimed.
Business advisors Grant Thornton said there were "signs of some glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel".
An increased focus on technology and innovation was also said to be key for bringing about a gradual turnaround.
Diana Penny, head of travel, tourism and leisure at Grant Thornton, said it had been a difficult spell.
She said: "2016 has been one of the most challenging years ever for Aberdeen's travel, tourism and leisure sector, but there are signs of some glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
"The year ahead will almost certainly present obstacles to growth.
"The risks range from the impact of a potential triggering of Article 50, to continuing fluctuations in the oil and gas price.
"The reason that we have some cautious optimism is largely down to the resilience of the city and wider region's hospitality businesses.
"In difficult times, they've shown a commitment to collaborate and focus on sustainable growth and increased innovation.
"While there remains many challenges ahead, I'm confident Aberdeen's travel, tourism and leisure industry can remain a vital part of the region's economy."