The Gremi d’Hotels says that the solution is to manage well and that the political situation “does not help”
Hotel billing in Barcelona has fallen by 14% this summer – 20% less in August and 7% less in July – although occupancy has fallen by about 1% compared to last summer, which indicates that “the The level of tourism is lower than the previous year, “said the president of Gremi d’Hotels de Barcelona, Jordi Clos.
The occupancy in July was 91%, 0.7% less than last year, but the average price per room was 150 euros, 7% less than in 2017; in August there was 88% occupancy – 1% less – and 135 euros, 19% less, which implied a 20% reduction in turnover this month, detailed on Thursday at a press conference.
The biggest drop was in the hotels of higher category, with a drop of 18.5% in turnover, which shows the loss of quality in tourism that reaches the city, according to Clos, who has lamented that “the forecast is that Barcelona is entering a complicated period within the tourist space “.
From January to August, occupancy was 81.5%, 2.5% less than in the same period of 2017, and the average price was 134.47 euros – 7.3% less – -, which reduces the turnover by 9.6% so far this year, so the decline is not punctual summer.
Clos defends that Barcelona is still a great city with possibilities for the future but that the situation must be reversed by managing well, and warned: “If Barcelona is constipated, Catalonia can catch pneumonia”, so it is important that the City Council address it. Barcelona and the Generalitat.
“You do not have to invent anything, we have everything invented and it’s perfect, what you have to do is manage and manage well”, and criticized that it does not make sense for the Guardia Urbana to dedicate itself in August to measure stops of florists to fine them instead of trying to solve other problems in the city.
EFFECTS OF THE POLICY
Asked about the impact of the political situation, he said that “it does not help anything” and that it generates international information that harms the arrival of tourists, although he does not see how much of the decline in tourism is due to his management and what part to politics.
On the calls to the mobilization in the Diada and the first 1-O anniversary, has responded that the message that Catalonia is convulsing, images of yellow ties and aggressions “begin to create a negative image” that is also exaggerated in the international press and it is oversized, as it says it happened to his own family with Bilbao when he stopped going for ETA attacks.
MANAGEMENT OF TOURISM AND BARCELONA
He has criticized that the municipal regulation blocks the growth of luxury hotels and high level, and that there is a tourist offer in many cases illegal – like irregular apartments – for a tourism of lower quality: “It does not make sense to block good tourism and that they are appearing offers of a tourism that does not interest “.
After noting that the Government is studying the rental of tourist rooms, has warned that, the more product there is in Barcelona of a type of quality, more tourists will attract from this same level, and added: “Only missing the offer of flats What we will do is create a really low product offer. ”
He has asked to combat incivility and insecurity because they affect tourism, and he has lamented the arrival of organized gangs of thieves; the increase in the sale of drugs – “going down from Plaza Catalunya to Colón, it will be rare that they do not offer more than four times” – and the illegal street vending, also of beverages, which in some cases is hidden under the sand of the beach and annoying bathers when picking it up.
In addition, he notes that news such as the aggression of a tourist by a ‘mantero’, the taxi strike, the situation of the city and other circumstances generate negative articles in international media and lead to countries such as the United States and Canada do not recommend travel to Barcelona, so the tourist chooses another destination without problems.
“BACK TO 8 WILL COST”
Consider that these circumstances have led Barcelona to fall from the position 8 to 15 in the ranking of cities with the best reputation in the world: “Arriving at number 8 cost a lot, and down to 15 has cost nothing. , and has asked to dedicate 100% of the tourist tax to promote the Barcelona brand and improve aspects such as safety and citizenship.
Asked by journalists, he said that other external factors that have affected tourism in many other cities have also been affected by Barcelona – such as the recovery of markets that have been “captive” to conflicts for the past – but have indicated that they are destinations for travel. different, and recalled that the fall in turnover has not only been in summer, but since January accumulates 9.6%.