Tourist rental occupancy rates on the Costa Brava have fallen “drastically” over the last 4 months, according to the Tourist Apartments Association of Girona Province (ATA).
Josep Comaposada, President of ATA, says that bookings of holiday properties on the coast were down 60% over weekends and public holidays in January.
“We were used to very high occupancy rates all year round, not just in the summer and at Easter,” Comaposada told the Spanish press. “Now it is noticeable that households are trying to save.”
That said, excellent snow in the ski resorts of the nearby Pyrenees meant that more people chose to go skiing this year, pushing down lettings on the coast. “There was a big drop on the coast for weekends in January and February, because people have gone for the snow,” explains Comaposada.
And despite reporting a big drop in business at the start of this year, Comaposada says the sector is “calm” about the prospects for the year, and that confirmed reservations for the next holidays are as good as ever.
“The forecasts are positive for Carnival and Easter. Looking further forward the summer, we are confident we will get occupancy similar to last year, and all the figures we have so far suggest that we will.”
Comaposada and ATA hope that the lower prices of holiday lettings compared to hotels will help them weather the downturn. “It’s the cheapest option, much cheaper than hotels. We will suffer the least,” says Comaposada.
ATA have also announced that they hope to reach an agreement regulating holiday lettings with the Department of Tourism of Catalonia’s regional government. A new regional housing law makes town halls responsible for supervising holiday lettings in Catalonia, and ensuring that owners have the necessary permits to rent their properties to tourists on a short term basis.