This year Barcelona ranks third in the world as a host city for events. The SONAR music festival has played a major role in strengthening the city’s international influence as a venue for conferences and festivals.
Online PR News – 11-August-2009 – – Barcelona’s appeal is underlined by the high quality apartments available to rent for festival-goers. The success of SONAR 2009 has brought a new lease of life for the tourist industry amid difficult economic conditions.
Following several years of uninterrupted growth, Barcelona has experienced a difficult year in 2009 with a general dip in tourism that began in 2007. Prices plummeted by 30% in June, to 85€ per night on average in the hotel sector (Source: europa press).
Holiday apartment occupancy rates soar to 90% during SONAR
However, the Association of Barcelona Tourist Apartments (APARTUR) reported an occupancy rate of 67% in the month of June and 90% during SONAR 2009, demonstrating a sustained demand for holiday apartment rentals during the festival.
“High numbers of festival-goers are still coming; we reached an occupancy rate of 98%. Within a strongly competitive environment and with changing demand this year, we have seen a reduction in the length of stays, which have gone from 6 to 4 nights on average, as well as last minute bookings...” states Eric Eslan of Feelbarcelona.
Last minute bookings have contributed to a 20% price drop in Barcelona holiday apartment rentals.
Clients are making increasingly late bookings to take advantage of last minute offers. This year SONAR visitors booked their holiday rental apartments much later than in 2008.
“Last year, by the month of May, 80% of apartments were booked for SONAR. This year we had to wait until two weeks before the start of the festival to reach our occupancy target of 95%, of which 60% of clients came for SONAR: 15% professionals and 45% festival-goers.”
This delay in bookings led to a price drop of 20% (source: APARTUR) despite a satisfactory occupancy rate and a sustained demand for SONAR.
Apartment rental agencies adapt to the new context.
“The current economic climate requires us to be very reactive and to adapt our prices in anticipation of the change in demand. 2009 isn’t 2008! Working on this assumption, we reduced very early on the minimum length of stay during SONAR from 8 to 5 nights, which meant we only suffered a 4% price drop.”
These figures for 2009 show that SONAR still holds an important place in the events calendar for the months preceding peak season in Barcelona. Despite the difficult economic climate, festival-goers have not given up their passion, and have once again overwhelmingly favoured holiday apartments.