The streets of Sitges have been full during this Easter. As if it was a day during the ‘Festa Major’, according to estimations from the local police. A combination of holiday tourists, weekend and day visitors, together with regular second home visitors has resulted in images on the streets unseen throughout the past year.
Hotel occupation in Sitges has been 80%. There are some establishments that have been totally full, and many others over half full. This week the Subur Marítim, the Antemare and the URH San Sebastián hotels all opened, joining those that had done so during previous weeks, such as the Calipolis and Kalma. Currently, there are 15 hotels open in Sitges. Of the well-known names, the Dolce, ME and Medium Sitges Park currently remain closed, but are planning to open between April and May.
The sectors taking advantage of Easter are those of hospitality and the retail trade. Most restaurants have been placing the ‘full’ sign during the first hour of lunchtime service. In some cases, they are still catering to reservations made from last week. For shops, the influx of visitors has also been welcomed, after more than two months with weekends closed, due to travel restrictions, and which have caused significant losses.
The crowds of visitors has been most evident on the Passeig de Vilafranca and Can Perico from the mid-mornings, where there have been queues of vehicles not witnessed for nearly two years. The streets of the new La Plana area have also become an area for visitor parking. However, where the number of visitors is most evident is on the streets within the centre of town and on the promenade, which since Thursday afternoon have been overflowing.
The large number of people on the streets in town, however, have also generated concern about the possible epidemiological effects that it can cause. The case of Sitges is not isolated, as the whole Catalan coast is full of visitors, as well as other areas in the interior.
The Mayor of Sitges, Aurora Carbonell, has been satisfied with the positive effects that Easter will have on the local tourism industry: ‘Sitges is eminently tourist and the high level of visitors we are receiving these days is great news. We very much needed to recover the activity. We have to keep in mind that tourism is our main economic engine.’ But, at the same time, Carbonell also warned of possible excesses: ‘We cannot lower the guard and ask for precaution and [for people] to follow security measures at all times.’
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