HomeHotelThe ISE and MWC fairs promote a historic February in Barcelona hotels

The ISE and MWC fairs promote a historic February in Barcelona hotels

Barcelona hotels will achieve a record February in occupancy and average rate thanks to the fairs being held for the second time in the same month ISE and Mobile World Congress (MWC), two of the largest international events related to new technologies, according to an analysis by the company 3 Capital.

Where do travelers come from?

According to 3 Capital, a good part of the delegates attending the MWC come from Asian countries and North America.

Furthermore, “the demand from Central European visitors (Germans, Dutch, Austrians, especially) was consolidated several weeks ago, with reservations beginning to flow steadily.”

How are you booking?

As explained by 3 Capital, “the hoteliers and apartment managers contacted confirm that, for this edition of the Mobile World Congress 2024, the reservations in recent weeks (not the total ones over the last year) have been mostly direct, without depending on the fees contracted with B-Network, the official agency of the show”.

“The explanation is that, confident in the strength of demand, they have preferred to reserve a greater number of places to market them at rates more appropriate to their interests,” add the same sources.

What hotels are you booking?

On the other hand, “all the hoteliers consulted agree that the average profile of their guests for MWC 2024 corresponds more to senior executives than to basic or commercial technicians.”

“This segmentation has an immediate effect on the reserved product: priority has been given to high-end hotels and apartments (not necessarily “luxury”) closest to the fairgrounds and those centrally located, but well connected to Fira Gran Vía”, indicates 3 Capital .

Thus, the four and five star establishments in l’Eixample and Ciutat Vella, well connected by public transport to Gran Vía, have occupancy rates of over 95% during the dates of the show and around 75% in the days immediately following.

Archive image from a previous edition of the MWC. Source: Hosteltur

How much do hotels cost during Mobile World Congress?

Average rates are around 480 euros in 4-star hotels in the center and in the fairgrounds, according to the 3 Capital report.

In any case, “the fact that the average prices in the city have also increased throughout the season makes the MWC contrast relative: although these are rates above the average, there is no longer as much difference as there was ten years ago.” years”.

Thanks to the optimistic expectations, in addition, “many hotels and apartments have preferred not to give up large spaces to B-Network, the official accommodation management agency for the MWC and reserve the power to allocate prices based on real demand, which together with dispensing with the obligatory commitment of two minimum nights of stay, has proven to be a successful policy on their part”.

In fact, “from 3 to 4 nights a few years ago, we have gone to just over 2 nights on average.”

What hotel occupancy will there be?

The company 3 Capital expects that the regulated supply will reach “almost full occupancy” during the next weekend, especially in mid-high-end apartments and in four-star and four-superior hotels.

Forecasts by type of accommodation

The tracking carried out by 3 Capital, taking as a sample 956 apartments and 1,214 four and five star hotel rooms, shows the following results:


  • “Fewer attendees are detected per company. If the number of occupants per apartment pre-pandemic (2019) was 2.4 people, the trend in 2024 aims to approach that ratio: 2.2 people per apartment. This would indicate that companies continue sending fewer delegates or they have chosen another type of accommodation.
  • Average daily rate (ADR): in 2024 the estimated average rate is €394, 15% higher than last year’s €342.
  • Occupancy will be close to full in those mid- and high-end apartments that are well located or connected.
  • “The average stay continues to decline. Until 2017, the dominant trend was that many attendees took the opportunity to extend their stay, generally for leisure reasons, beyond the four days of the fair. In 2017, the average stay of delegates staying in apartments was of 8 days, in 2019 it was 6 days, in 2021 it did not reach 3 days and in 2024 it will be around 2.3 days”.

Four and five star hotels

  • Occupancy is around 95% on average in centrally located and well-connected hotels and those closest to the fairgrounds.
  • In terms of average rate, it is close to that achieved in 2019: €521 in 2019 Vs. €480 in 2024. “The majority of hotels have reduced quotas for B-Network and have continued to market rooms based on real demand, applying a very intensive revenue management policy (control and change of rates based on demand): the MWC has contributed to increasing occupancy and the average rate with a record for the month of February, so the final EBITDA will be improved “.
  • “There is still supply available in the city at reasonable prices for a large international fair, so the tendency to book at the last minute ‘at whatever price’ and the ‘overflow demand’, that derived from neighboring municipalities such as Sitges or “Vilanova i la Geltrú, among others. It is very likely that there will be a remainder of unsold rooms in those lower category or misplaced hotels.”
  • “Attendees staying in hotels who will extend their stay to the weekend after the event will be a minority, unlike what was happening until 2018.”

Fairs and conferences boost employment in Barcelona

The company 3 Capital highlights that in addition to the MWC, “other events have helped to deseasonalize Barcelona’s tourist season in a less noticeable way.”

“Such is the case of the ISE (the largest international fair in the audiovisual sector, with more than 70,000 delegates) or the ESMO Congress (event of the European Society of Oncology, with nearly 35,000 professional visitors from more than 150 countries). A In 2025, they will be joined by new exhibitions such as the ICE (International Gaming and Betting Fair) or Labelexpo (International Packaging and Label Exhibition), captured after decades of stable presence in other destinations,” the same sources indicate.

Furthermore, in 2024 the celebration of Alimentaria and Hostelco (biennial exhibitions) coincides with the Sailing America’s Cup in Barcelona.

All of this will make 2024 “a year of new records in terms of average rate and occupancy in the city.”

“So much so that, as of today, it is impossible to find mid- or high-end accommodation for groups in the middle of next September for less than €600,” notes 3 Capital.

In fact, “even new hotel establishments far from the center that will open for the MWC (Tembo, in Sant Adrià) or for the Copa América (SLS, also in Sant Adrià) already have a large number of confirmed reservations.”

Regarding the Copa América de Vela, “there is not yet an outstanding volume of reservations linked to the celebration of the sporting event, but those confirmed are at record rates, especially in August, September and October.”

Related news:
– Mobile World Congress: accommodation price increases by 52%
– The conferences and fairs that will fill Barcelona hotels in 2024
– Hotel moratorium in Barcelona Is the end of the ban approaching?

Source: Hosteltur



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