Panda fever has spread beyond Edinburgh, with hotels in the city reporting a steep rise in inquiries from across the UK since the arrival at the weekend of Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
As the giant pandas settle into Edinburgh Zoo, animal lovers from across the country have been making plans to visit the black-and-white superstars.
Searches on Hotels.com for rooms in the capital have soared by 78 per cent in the past 48 hours compared to the previous week, according to the website operators, with most enquiries coming from within the UK.
The surge in interest comes ahead of the pandas’ official public debut on 16 December, and represents a “significant” increase in the typical level of inquiries at this time of year.
Kate Hopcraft from Hotels.com said: “Tian Tian and Yang Guang have made headline news this weekend, and it’s great for Edinburgh to see that their arrival is already impacting on hotel searches in the local area.
“The pandas are expected to lead the staycation travel trend going into 2012.”
As the first pandas in the UK for almost 20 years, the breeding pair have attracted international media attention since they left China on Saturday.
So far, the animals have only been glimpsed as they were transferred from the airport to the zoo. Their keepers have said the two are being given time to settle in before meeting their public.