With an occupancy rate of 80%, it’s safe to say that luxury tourism in the Catalan capital has made a full recovery post-pandemic.
Luxury tourism is back in the city of Barcelona and hoteliers are celebrating because, in addition, these travelers have no problem paying higher prices than before the pandemic. At a meeting held last Saturday, several of the city’s hoteliers agreed on the rapid recovery of this sector in the capital, whose occupancy rate is already over 80%.
According to press agency EFE, 15% of tourists who come to Barcelona stay in luxury hotels and spend, without taking into account accommodation or transport, with an average spending budget of up to 600 euros per person per day in the city, which is double that of other visitors.
In a restricted meeting with the media, several managers of luxury hotels in Barcelona agree in celebrating the rapid recovery of the sector, while stressing the need to increase aspects such as security and cleanliness in the city.
The general manager of Hotel Arts, Andreas Oberoi, notes that this iconic luxury establishment was a few points below the occupancy recorded in the same month of 2019 in June and that the average price has risen compared to before the pandemic.
He went on to say that the goal is to offer a good service to these clients, who are willing to pay more than 2,000 euros, and up to 20,000 euros, to stay in one of the hotel’s ‘penthouses’.
The general manager of The Barcelona Edition, Julie Van de Kerckhove, points out that right now luxury tourists coming to Barcelona “have no price sensitivity”, that is, they have a high purchasing power and are willing to pay for a “good product and good experiences”.
This is a type of guest who has not suffered much from the pandemic and will not suffer from inflation or crises either, “it is a traveler -he assures- who will continue to spend and travel”.
Also, the general manager of ME Barcelona, René Hoeltschl, also explains that this type of client is now asking for larger rooms, with terraces and larger spaces, and “they are willing to pay more money”.
These hoteliers believe that the city should focus a little more on luxury tourism, because it is a “very powerful” sector, and propose, among other things, making the seafront more attractive and focusing on the exclusive experiences offered by the city.
Madrid also Gains Ground
All agree in highlighting the great boost that Madrid has had in this sector, after the entry of hotels that are benchmarks in the luxury market, such as the Four Seasons, which went to the Spanish capital pushed by the restrictions established by the Barcelona City Council, which rejected the project to open an establishment of this brand in the former Deutsche Bank building.
A situation that hoteliers cannot understand. “We want quality tourism, but the municipal policies are not in line with this discourse”, denounces Manel Casals, who recalls that room rental is allowed in the city and that, however, a hotel that would have brought tourists of high economic level to Barcelona was rejected.
Although Madrid has fewer luxury hotels than Barcelona, the fact that in recent times major brands in the sector have landed in the capital has led to a rise in the prices of these establishments.
The Four Seasons, Madrid
Prices that, in Barcelona, would not be paid because the city is very competitive, since it has 22 luxury establishments, which represent 8.62% of the total number of rooms in the city, and another 22 five-star hotels, which account for 6.8% of the rooms.
All these professionals also agree that Madrid is more “friendly” with tourists, from the administration to public opinion, although they also point out that the fact that other areas of Spain are developing a lot as tourist destinations will favour the whole country.