Last week, the Hotel Association of Barcelona warned of the gradual fall of MICE tourism in Barcelona principally because of the political local weather in Catalonia. The affiliation has additionally expressed its concern in regards to the coronavirus outbreak because the Mobile World Congress (MWC) within the metropolis attracts close to.
After ending 2019 with a resort occupancy report of 82%, 1.7% above the 2018 determine, the native resort managers concern a slowdown because of the coronavirus and Brexit. The affiliation, nonetheless, highlighted the affect of the downward pattern on MICE tourism, which provides 1.9 billion euros a 12 months and attracts 27% of tourists to the town.
Jordi Mestre, president of this affiliation, claims that, though Barcelona continues to host massive occasions and gala’s, such because the Fira de Barcelona and different mega-events, the decline is principally affecting enterprise conferences and small congresses held within the resorts of the town.
According to knowledge and statistics from the Barcelona tourism report of 2018, the newest out there, the town held 1,728 enterprise conferences that 12 months, 19% lower than in 2017, when there have been 2,134 conferences. And in 2017 there had already been a 12.5% fall in comparison with 2016, which was additionally preceded by a 23.8% drop in comparison with 2015.
Manel Casals, basic director of the affiliation, stated that the decline in MICE tourism in Barcelona is defined by “the negative talks regarding tourism in Barcelona” that occurred a couple of years in the past, as a result of “lack of tourism promotion” and “legal insecurity”, however he additionally identified that one of many fundamental causes is the political local weather in Catalonia.
Mestre says that when corporations arrange occasions, they don’t need to see “a conflict” within the metropolis the place they’re held, so the political unrest is one thing that weighs closely.
Casals recalled that following the protests within the metropolis in opposition to the sentence of the leaders of the Catalan independence motion, there have been many cancellations because of the “sociopolitical climate”, so how the town is perceived after these incidents is an element that also worries the resort managers, in addition to the picture of insecurity depicted final summer time.
Despite the slowdown of MICE tourism, Mestre says that 2019 ended with constructive numbers since Barcelona broke the report in resort occupancy – barely above the occupancy ranges of 2016, though not when it comes to turnover – and famous that the typical room charge rose by 7.5 euros, reaching 140 euros (5.7% enhance) whereas Revenue per Available Room stood at 115 euros (7.5% extra).