The coronavirus is playing havoc with people’s holiday plans this year, which explains why holiday-rental occupancy rates are significantly down on last year.
According to the holiday rental platform Rentalia, 77% of rental homes on the coast have bookings this August, down from 88% last year, and the lowest level on record according to data collected by Rentalia.
Even in the worst years of the economic crisis occupancy rates never dipped below 83%, and hit a high of 92% in 2017.
The best holiday-home occupancy rates this year are in mainly in the north of Spain, with 93% in Asturias, 89% in Cantabria, 85% in La Coruña, and 85% in the Canary island of Lanzarote, which is the only area to improve its occupancy rate compared to last year, all according to Rentalia.
At the other end of the scale occupancy is barely above 50% in Huelva, Tenerife, Castellon, and Gran Canaria.
What about some of the best known destinations? They are as follows: Mallorca, Menorca & Alicante (Costa Blanca( 84%, Cadiz (Costa de la Luz) 83%, Almeria 81%, Tarragona (Costa Dorada) & Girona (Costa Brava) 77%, Malaga (Costa del Sol) 73%, Murcia 71%, Valencia 68%, and Barcelona 64%.
With international travel so disrupted by Covid-19, foreign holidays are being cancelled, and the British government’s decision to force quarantine on all tourists returning from Spain has been a particularly bitter blow to the industry.
As a result, there are fewer foreign tourists in Spain this year, but more locals staying put. It’s thanks to local demand that occupancy rates haven’t collapsed much more, especially in the north of Spain, which is more popular with locals. “Those markets the depend on foreign tourists, like the Mediterranean coast, are seeing big falls in occupancy,” comments Almudena Ucha, the director of Rentalia. “On the other hand, other coasts more attractive for Spanish tourists, like those in the north of Spain, are achieving occupancy rates above 85% that are rescuing the high season.”
For rental homes on the Mediterranean coast, a private pool is a big plus for attracting tourists this year, as people are worried about social distancing problems with community pools. So even though average occupancy rates on the southern coasts are significantly down, homes with a private pool are clocking up occupancy rates of 90%, say Rentalia.