C. Tangana, Netflix, HBO … five-star hotels ‘throw’ clapperboard before the crisis

The pandemic wrote a dramatic script twist for the hotel industry. The accommodations throughout Spain leave behind a year of nightmare. Only in the past year, Madrid hotels lost more than 2 billion euros. The mobility restrictions that are still in force anticipate a bleak scenario in the current year. The forecasts of another season under the yoke of the virus have led the large chains to reinvent themselves and ‘pull’ the clapperboard to reduce the break that Covid-19 has left in their accounts. From Netflix, to HBO or stars like singer C. Tangana, the five stars already manage a wave of reservations to film in their spaces, with the same discretion with which they previously welcomed personalities from all over the world.

“Requests to film in our hotels have skyrocketed”, say from the Riu chain to La Información. Camera activity bustles between their rooms. “With this reinvention of our offer of multipurpose spaces we are filming television, series, films and commercials. We are also recording video clips and small concerts (live on the roof), such as the performance of José Luis Perales at the Latin Grammy, which was recorded on the terrace of the 21st floor of the Riu Plaza España “, they list. The singer-songwriter is not the only one who has opted for this central rooftop, whose views reach the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Theater. “In our hotel in Madrid he also recorded one of his latest songs, ‘Tú me dejaste de quiero’, C. Tangana … and the video already has 82 million views on YouTube. “The activity extends to other accommodations in the chain.

“As for the Riu hotels in the Canary Islands, a region that offers numerous tax advantages for the production companies, the requests for film filming, among which we already have several projects in Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria, join the reservations to carry out photo sessions for fashion catalogs “, they explain from the chain. Riu is part of the Historical alliance supported by large companies in the sector -as Meliá, Barceló, NH, Iberostar or Room Mate- to present the Manifesto of Interest to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, to access the Next Generation Funds and promote an injection of 5.8 billion euros.

Vicente Fernández Guerrero, former president of SEPI.
“Since the total confinement, a large part of the sector has not opened its doors, reaching 70% of the accommodation closed. In those that remain active, the average occupancy does not exceed 20%.”

The latest data offered by the Madrid Hotel Business Association (AEHM) conversations with this newspaper are devastating. “Between March and April all hotels were closed. Since then, a large part of the sector has not yet opened its doors in the region, up to 70% of the tourist accommodation closed. Those who have been able to maintain the activity suffer a notable fall in reservations and their average occupancy does not exceed 20% “, report from the employer. Javier Pérez, general director of VP Hotels, transfers to this medium that, Since the health crisis began, in their accommodations “a lot of recordings have been shot, many of them for very important series.” Some of its newer customers include streaming giants like Netflix and HBO. “We are also going to host the next Feroz awards”.

Javier Polo, director of the Gran Hotel Inglés, speaks wistfully as he walks with The Information through the empty corridors of a hotel that first opened in 1886. “Not even during the Civil War it was closed, as it served as a hospital in the war”, he comments. Every detail in its corners is an ode to the cultural heritage of the capital and an invitation to indulge yourself. “The entire staff is still in ERTE. Yes, we rent the space to film, something that was almost unthinkable before due to the inconvenience it entailed for our guests“. The confidentiality clauses bind the manager when it comes to giving more details, but he ensures that the income through this route hardly represents a” symbolic “contribution to the crisis in which the virus has plunged this emblematic accommodation.” Others resort to it. to its restaurants while the rooms remain closed, but we believe that the Gran Hotel Inglés should be fully experienced, our hallmark has always been to offer a total customer experience“.

The system they describe from Riu is very similar to the one applied in the rest of the chains. “The hotel has filming rates and all these events have incurred a cost for the interested client. Depending on the interest at a commercial level, A discount could be applied but there is always a fee“They guarantee. Again, the income left by the filming in the coffers of these companies is not comparable to the hole that the coronavirus has pierced in a sector that Madrid represents 7% of the Community’s GDP Autonomous and generates more than 185,000 jobs, between direct and indirect jobs, according to AEHM figures.

Almost a year after the start of the pandemic, the industry continues to insist that direct aid is needed. “Most of the workers in the sector are in ERTE, so if the administrations do not act immediately and commit themselves in a forceful way with precise and effective measures, we will lead to the bankruptcy of many companies and the ERE of thousands of employees” , they predict from the employer’s association. Specifically, the AEHM, which highlights the good harmony with the regional Executive, echoes the demands of the sector. “Madrid hoteliers claim the expansion of the ERTE throughout 2021, and not just until May 31 as the Government has announced, with the total exoneration of Social Security. “The reflection is firm: “You cannot continue spending if there is no income.”

Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by www.lainformacion.com.

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