Catalan tourism sector bets on campsites, hotels and holiday homes in rural areas

There is a mixed picture across the country, with many campsites, hotels and holiday homes in rural areas fully booked, while occupancy rates in Barcelona (CataloniaSpain), remain low.

A lack of foreign visitors is being felt in coastal areas and beach resorts.

Meanwhile, hotel bookings in the Pyrenees are currently between 80% and 90%, according to the Lleida Hospitality Federation, which says it expects many to be fully booked. Similarly, occupancy rates for rural accommodation such as villas and self-catering holiday homes are at almost 100%.

Campsites too are filling up, especially for the first two weeks of August, where bookings are already between 95% and 100%. The majority of bookings in the Pyrenees are from Catalan residents opting to take holidays close to home.

It is a very different scenario in Barcelona, much more heavily reliant on foreign tourism. Manel Casals, head of the Barcelona Hotel Association, says that the summer is “lost” due to the “catastrophic” effects the pandemic has had on the sector.

“We currently have 40% of hotels open with an average occupancy rate that is also around 40%,” he told the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

“Normally there would be around 60,000 people sleeping in hotels in Barcelona every night but now there are only about 11,000.”

“In the last six to eight weeks we have noticed a slight increase in some nationalities, basically Italians, Germans and French. But it is very slow,” Casals says, adding that bookings from American and Asian tourists remain very low.

See also Catalan travel guide

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