The America's Cup effect on tourist hotels and apartments is already beginning to be felt. With nine months to go before the start of the regattas, the establishments register the first reservations for what is expected to be an absolute full house in September and, above all, in October next year. Barcelona hotels with better sea views, such as the Arts or the W, no longer have rooms available to searchers on the days of the final regattas, between October 12 and 20 and the prices of establishments of four and five stars are already moving upward during that month.
Expectations among the hotel and apartment sector are very high. The America's Cup is presented as a great attraction to capture, in the first place, more visitors from the United States. Not surprisingly, in this country the regatta is very popular, as it has been the one that has defended the coveted trophy the most times. In this way, it is hoped to consolidate what is already the first international tourist market in Barcelona. It is also expected that other local markets will be encouraged, such as the French, Italian or Swiss, which also compete in what is considered the queen of regattas.
The extensive calendar of the America's Cup, with the last preliminaries in August; the Louis Vuitton Cup between August and September (in which the five challenging teams will compete); the women's cup and the youth cup (between September 26 and October 16), and the great challenge, which will culminate on October 20, fuel expectations. Hotels such as the Arts and the W – privileged vantage points over the regatta course – already have their rooms blocked and the prices in high-end apartments in Ciutat Vella, which now cost around 200 euros per night, shoot up to 700 l October 2024. In establishments such as Le Meridien, BCN Edition or Cotton House, you can no longer stay overnight for less than 500 euros.
"It's a fantastic opportunity, in October Barcelona will have a combination of visitors with high purchasing power", says Enrique Alcántara, president of the Barcelona Tourist Apartments Association (Apartur). The truth is that October is usually between the second and third best month in terms of employment for Barcelona, since international medical congresses coincide with peak cruise weeks.
"The America's Cup public, who plan stays of a week or more, are very interested in the apartments", adds Alcántara, who emphasizes that without this offer, which represents 30% of the accommodation available in the city, "Barcelona would not be able to absorb the demand expected during the event".
The sector is preparing for a predictable increase in international bookings in a couple of weeks, when the second preliminary regattas to be held next week in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) have finished. The Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation (FBCN) gave a session to the hotel sector a few months ago to explain not only the calendar of the event, but the main scenarios on the waterfront and the parallel events that from August of 2024 and until the end of October are planned in the city.