Sitges hotels gear up for Carnival hoping to better pre-Covid visitor numbers
90% of accommodation in seaside town booked out for Saturday, 26 February
Carnival time is just around the corner and nowhere in Catalonia does it bigger than Sitges. The seaside town is gearing up for a bumper year, with hotels and tourist apartments hoping to surpass pre-pandemic occupancy rates.
Bookings are already at the same level as two years ago, when Carnival took place a few weeks before the first cases of coronavirus were detected in Catalonia.
Some 90% of rooms in the town are booked out for the night of Saturday, February 26, while for the other days of the festivities occupancy rates are currently at around 70%, the Sitges Hospitality Association told the Catalan News Agency (ACN).
"With last-minute bookings, we hope to better the visitor numbers compared to the last Carnival [in 2020]," the association president Oskar Stöber said.
Among tourists staying in the town over the past few weeks, the desire for a "return to life" was notable, he said.
The party officially kicks off on Thursday, February 24, known as Dijous Gras, or Fat Thursday, but the busiest days for hotels are set to be from Friday to Tuesday night, peaking on Saturday.
Stöber expects a varied crowd as always, from families with children dressing up, to young people coming for the town's famous nightlife, as well as adults of all ages who come to watch the spectacle on show.
Sitges is known for taking its Carnival fun seriously, with big parades that draw tens of thousands of revelers to party on the beachfront and medieval streets.
But cities, towns and villages across Catalonia have their own unique ways of letting their hair down before Lent, with everything from racing beds through the streets to burying sardines on the beach!
While the pandemic meant the usual debauchery was dialed down last year, Carnival 2022 is sure to be one hell of a party.