Barcelona hotel sector closes 2017 with record turnover
Despite “terrible” last quarter of year, the industry turned over 6% more than 2016
The Barcelona hotel sector closed 2017 with a record turnover 6% higher than the previous year, despite the “terrible” final quarter the industry suffered from October to December, coinciding with a drop in international tourists coming to the country and the peak of the political crisis between Spain and Catalonia, according to the Barcelona hoteliers association, el Gremi d’hotels de Barcelona.
However, the president of the organization, Jordi Clos, lamented the fact that during October and November, turnover fell by 15%, and 25% in December, which led to a reduction in the “extraordinary” growth throughout the first half of 2017.
“I am worried about the negative results of the second half, and concerned about the future,” said Clos. According to him, Barcelona is being excluded from “the list of candidate cities for the organization of trade fairs and meetings.” He also highlighted that the number of hotel reservations for the coming months is slowing down.
“This will affect us in 2018, and even in the next two years,” he said. For this reason, he called on the government administrations to invest in breaking “this negative dynamic.”
Clos also complained about Barcelona City Council not allocating any of its tourist tax to promote the Barcelona brand, as requested by the hoteliers association last November. “A higher investment in promotion is necessary in order to get out of this situation,” he asserted.
He attributed the city’s bad image to a “cocktail of circumstances and constant bad news,” making reference to recent political events, airport strikes, and the August 17 terrorist attack.
According to Clos, luxury hotels have suffered the most. They closed last year with an average room occupation of 80%. Despite this, he pointed out that so far 2018 has been the same as January in 2016, but fears there will be a drop in coming months.