Eurovision 2018 will take place in a month’s time, and the top Lisbon hotels are almost sold out. For the event, which takes place between 8 and 12 May, 27.000 tourists are expected to come, to whom 1500 people of 42 delegations represented at the festival, and an equal number of journalists, are added.
During the four days of May, Lisbon is expected to welcome 37% more foreign visitors than in the same period last year, according to a report of eDreams, an online international travel agency. This would be a much higher number than the 20% increase registered by Kiev last year, when the city hosted the festival.
The study adds that the majority of the flights come from France, accounting for 29.2% of passengers who have bookings for the Eurovision 2018 event. Germany comes second (18%) and Spain (10%) complete the top 3. Given the growth in demand, the airlines increased the average prices of flights to Lisbon by 18%.
The same phenomenon happened with lodging. Tivoli Oriente, of the Minor Hotels group, is one of the official hotels of Eurovision and is “virtually sold out during the festival week”, stated Rui de Sousa, the regional director. The two hotels in Lisbon from the same group, located in Avenida da Liberdade, also have occupancy rates close to 100%.
Rui de Sousa reports a growth of the average price per room of 15% compared to the same period last year, justified by the event but also by the recent renovations of their hotels.
Vila Galé hotels are also experiencing “some recovery in the average price,” says an official source of the group, who acknowledges that it is “due to the festival". The four Vila Galé hotels in Lisbon are registering a good reservation rhythm, which anticipates “an occupation close to 100% in the week of the Eurovision Festival”.
Iberostar Lisboa, the first of the Iberostar Hotels & Resorts in the country, started to accept reservations for the Eurovision 2018 already in August last year. The average occupation rate provided already exceeds 81% and the reservations are mostly by guests of France (18%), Spain (16%), Brazil (12%), Germany (7%) and United Kingdom (5%), says the group.
There is also a long-term vision of the opportunity that lives beyond the event. With “high occupancies, in line with last year", Pestana group - the largest Portuguese hotel group -, for instance, believes that the Eurovision is “very interesting, but the true impact on tourism will not be immediate, instead it will take place in the future”.
Paula Oliveira, executive director of the Lisbon Tourism Association, estimates that Lisbon will receive, during those days, “25.000 to 27.000 tourists, who come just to follow the initiative”. And she emphasizes that, more than the immediate impact, Eurovision 2018 “will create a buzz” that will extend itself in time and will join the dynamics started by the organization of the Web Summit, the Volvo Ocean Race, international congresses and other events.