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STR data shows impact of Catalan independence on Barcelona hotel performance

Preliminary data from STR shows that hotels in Barcelona, Spain, experienced substantial performance declines following the 1 October Catalan Independence Referendum.

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Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the market dropped considerably during the first five days after the referendum, with the sharpest year-over-year decline (-27.5%) on 4 October.

Prior to October, the market’s hotel performance was strong despite the 18 August terror attack and ongoing protests leading up to the referendum. Barcelona posted its highest ever RevPAR level for both the month of August (EUR146.11) and September (EUR140.75), experiencing double-digit increases compared with the same two months in 2016.

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Occupancy levels dropped for six of the seven days after the 18 August attack, but quickly recovered beginning on 26 August. STR analysts noted that August hotel performance was lifted substantially by the ESC Congress (26-30 August), the world’s largest cardiovascular congress, which typically hosts around 30,000 attendees. The Sants-Montjuic submarket, which houses many hotels near the host exhibition center, posted a 17.6% increase in ADR during the 1 August to 16 October period, and was the only submarket in Barcelona to record an increase in occupancy (+0.4%) for that date range.

“Hotels in the market have been experiencing cancellations from the Group segment (bookings of 10 or more at once) since the beginning of October,” said Javier Serrano, STR’s market manager for Spain and Portugal. “Barcelona’s performance has slowed down since the political unrest commenced. This will likely have a directly negative impact on occupancy levels for the rest of the year, which will probably also affect ADR levels in the following months. As we enter 2018, the market will also face a high basis of comparison with this year, which has seen 15.1% RevPAR growth through September.”