WYD: Hotels struggle to meet demand

 In Events, Hotel, News

With five months to go before one of the Catholic Church’s biggest annual events – World Youth Day 2023 – which will be held in Lisbon and attended by the Pope Francis, hotels are completely booked up for the first week in August.

Guest houses and holiday let apartments — known as Local Accommodation in Portugal – are currently booked at 30% for that week, but sector representatives believe that as the date looms closer, all places will be fully booked.
“It’s a positive sign for tourism” but both segments expect it to be a “huge challenge” to meet the demand.
“Hotels have been preparing for the event since March 2022 when there was a first contact with the organisers” says Cristina Siza Vieira, Vice-President of the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP) adding: “The hotels are quite full”.
While not providing exact numbers, the AHP says that from the information that it does have “some hotels are fully booked for the period”. “Many are 100% full; some because of this event, others because they’re booked up with seasonal holiday bookings.”
Yet despite preparations having been ongoing for almost a year, it will be quite a challenge. “This is a huge event and with complicated logistics”, says Cristina Siza Vieira “both in Lisbon and the Greater Lisbon Metropolitan Area, whose hotels and guest houses will be close to maximum take-up.”
According to AHP data provided to the news site ECO, the Lisbon district has a maximum capacity of 257 hotels, apart-hotels and pousadas (historic inns), representing 24,616 rooms and 47,269 beds. The Greater Lisbon Area has 34,269 rooms and 67,423 beds.

Image: Architect’s model of World Youth Day stage. The event will cost an estimated €30 million.