How to adapt to the Covid-19 for Barcelona’s Holiday Rental industry?
As everybody knows, tourism in Barcelona, and in Spain as a whole went from 100 to 0 in a matter of just a couple of days in mid-march. The airport in Barcelona saw a decrease in traffic of 99.4% in April, with just over 25,000 visitors.
For Holiday Rental owners in Spain, and Barcelona, this means that their source of income for the months to come disappeared in a blink of an eye. And the uncertainty of when tourists will come back is still very high.
Other European countries, like Italy on June 3rd, are starting to open their borders again, and Spain will do the same on July 1st. Even if it is unlikely to see a big influx of foreign tourists, it does mean that the industry will slowly start waking up with tourists from Europe and Spain.
What do we need to do?
For Holiday Rentals to open again, they have to follow some basic rules that are essential to preventing new Covid-19 cases.
Signs will have to be placed inside the apartments with the main hygiene norms to prevent a comeback of the virus. These signs will have to be translated into the tourists’ main languages.
What should these signs include?
- Minimum safety distance of 2 meters.
- Compulsory use of masks from the age of 6 years old, when the safety distance cannot be maintained.
- Hand hygiene is essential for optimal prevention
- The use of the elevator is limited to the essential minimum. When necessary, the maximum occupancy will be one person, unless it is possible to guarantee the separation of 2 meters.
- Respect the signaling of the identified areas with restricted access or totally closed
- The use of common areas such as swimming pools, spas, gyms, children’s areas, discos, or event rooms is not allowed.
This list is valid for phase 1, only the last point will change in phase 2 to be:
- Maximum capacity is allowed for one-third of the capacity in common areas. In addition, in spaces such as swimming pools, spas or gyms, an appointment is required and access will be in turn.
What shall we do until the tourists come back?
Many tourist apartments have turned to traditional renting. Whether it is a long-term contract or for mid-term, it is the only way to make sure your apartment is being rented during the current climate. Even if the financial returns will be lower, it offers a bit of certainty and fixed income when our industry is providing neither.
Mid-term contracts do provide more flexibility with a length from 1 to 11 months, they seem to be the perfect solution whilst waiting for better days. The main question obviously is, for how long should you rent your apartment? Of course, everybody wants to be able to receive short stays as soon as the demand appears again, but in the meantime, it is impossible not to rent the apartments at all.
Even if all the signs seem to be positive with progressive deconfinement all over Europe and the number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19 declining, we still don’t know for sure if this trend will continue.
It is then up to the apartment owners to decide whether they choose the security of a long mid-term booking (more than 3 months), or if they would rather rent their apartment for a smaller duration (1 to 3 months) in order to be reactive when demand for tourist apartments rises again.
What have we done at Stay U-nique?
At Stay U-nique we work closely with each property owner to adapt the booking we receive to their needs. We have been able to find bookings until 2021, or smaller ones between one and two months.
If you want to learn more about how we adapted at Stay U-nique to the Covid crisis, visit our dedicated page. Or if you wish to contact us directly, fill the form below.