It has been a good Easter holiday for the local economy, even above expectations – with Sitges full of visitors as in the pre-pandemic days.
Local hotels have been 90% full during the four days of holiday, and in some cases they have had to display the ‘no vacancies’ sign. This has not been seen in Sitges for a year and a half. Although prices have not been the same as previous years (Holy Week is always considered as high season), the high demand has allowed hoteliers to finally increase their initial rates, which were low.
But the sector that has benefitted most has been that of hospitality. Most local establishments have filled all their capacity during lunchtimes over the four day period – and in some cases during the other days, too. Since the perimeter restrictions were relaxed (from 15 March), Sitges restaurants have witnessed an important increase in visitors, so much so that during the weekends it is difficult to go to lunch in the centre of the town without booking in advance.
Most establishments have been following all the measures of health precautions, although there were some that ended up being sanctioned for exceeding their capacity or remaining open beyond the permitted hours. The councillor for tourism, Luismi García, congratulated restaurants for adhering to the health regulations.
Shops have also had a good Easter. The Sitges Trade Association (l’associació Sitges Comerç) has estimated that the sales level has been only slightly below that of Easter 2019. Meanwhile, beach traders have not yet started their season (they are expected to do so from the beginning of May) – although some of them have now set out sun beds for hire. The chiringuitos (beach bars) will not be installed until a few weeks from now.
For those representing the local economic associations, maintaining the comarca (county) perimeter open is vital – especially for weekend visitors and trade – and that the epidemiological data does not increase again to complicate matters. ‘We are in a situation of tense calm,’ said the president of the Hospitality Guild (Gremio de Hostelería), Oskar Stöber. ‘If, for the moment, in the coming weeks, we can continue working in the same way during weekends, then it is already an important step after the past difficult months,’ he added.
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