The Barcelona hoteliers association launched a cry for help this Wednesday in the face of the “tragedy” that the sector is experiencing due to the pandemic, with 75% of the establishments closed and an occupancy of just 10%.
The most visited city in Spain, a highly coveted destination among European travelers, showed a desolate appearance this boreal summer, with many hotels and shops closed and desert streets in its most touristy areas.
“The situation is dramatic, a tragedy (…) The hotel sector is on its last legs,” the president of the Barcelona Hotels Guild, Jordi Mestre, warned at a press conference.
According to the figures of his association, the sector lost 850 million euros in the last six months.
During the summer, despite the end of the confinement decreed in Spain between March and June, only 25% of the hotels opened and their occupancy was 10%, although prices were cut in half.
In August, for example, they hosted 3,200 daily customers, compared to 58,000 in 2019.
“If we do not have a rescue plan, we will find ourselves in an extreme situation that will lead to bankruptcy proceedings and the liquidation of the business or the sale to vulture funds,” warned Mestre.
Tourism, a pillar of the Spanish economy, is especially suffering from the pandemic.
In March, the sector came to a halt due to confinement and the closure of borders and the gradual reactivation they had been waiting for since July was interrupted by the numerous outbreaks in this country, the second international tourist destination.