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How Tomorrowland Amps Up Belgian Hotel Performance

It’s festival season!

Tomorrowland, one of the biggest dance music festivals in the world, will be held over two consecutive weekends in July (7/20 - 7/22 and 7/27 - 7/29) in (the appropriately named) Boom, Belgium. Check out this year’s line-up here.

The first Tomorrowland, held in 2005, attracted 9,000 attendees. Over the years, the festival has grown massively, now spread across two weekends with 2017 attendance exceeding 400,000. There have been several impressive stats in the festival’s history – in 2013, 200,000 tickets were sold in just one second. In 2014, Tomorrowland was extended to two back-to-back weekends to celebrate the 10th anniversary, and ticket sales jumped up to 360,000, which were sold in less than an hour.

For festival goers, accommodation is an important factor to consider when purchasing tickets. Tomorrowland has its own campsite, DreamVille, with a wide range of options from tents all the way up to luxury mansions rented out for $50,000 per weekend. Many ticket holders have high purchasing power and travel from all over the world for the festival, and this spike in demand gives hotel operators several opportunities to capitalize on this business.

When buying a ticket, attendees are given the option to book a room at a ‘Theme Hotel’ as part of their package. Most of these hotels are based in the capital city of Brussels, about 20 miles south of the festival grounds. During Tomorrowland 2017, Brussels hotels posted a RevPAR (revenue per available room) of €65, a 16.2% increase over Tomorrowland 2016. But the standout location in terms of hotel performance is typically Antwerp, roughly 11 miles north of Boom.

Since the inaugural Tomorrowland in 2005, Antwerp’s hotel rates during the festival period have risen 97%. The city has seen some fluctuations over the years, with 2009 RevPAR down 10.8% compared with Tomorrowland 2008, likely a result of the global financial crisis. In 2016, RevPAR was 1.2% lower than in 2015, which may have been caused by the March 2016 terror attacks in Belgium. Antwerp’s hotel performance bounced back during Tomorrowland 2017, however, with RevPAR up 2.3% over the previous year.   

Antwerp Hotel Performance During Tomorrowland

Year

Occupancy

ADR

RevPAR

RevPAR % Change

2005

53%

    61.76

    32.82

N/A

 

2006

42%

    77.45

    32.35

-1.4%

 

2007

54%

    81.20

    43.97

35.9%

 

2008

70%

    69.48

    48.80

11.0%

 

2009

61%

    71.18

    43.52

-10.8%

 

2010

75%

    72.04

    54.11

24.3%

 

2011

81%

    71.95

    58.58

8.3%

 

2012

88%

    97.98

    85.95

46.7%

 

2013

89%

  107.92

    95.76

11.4%

 

2014

95%

  101.30

    95.97

0.2%

 

2015

93%

  116.99

  108.58

13.1%

 

2016

89%

  120.62

  107.28

-1.2%

 

2017

90%

  121.72

  109.70

2.3%

This hugely successful event has expanded beyond Belgium, with TomorrowWorld in Atlanta held from 2013 to 2015, as well as Tomorrowland Malta coming up this July. The festival’s growth has helped pave the way for other major music festivals, proving that people will come by the hundreds of thousands to see their favorite acts play on elaborate stages (check out the volcano on the main stage in 2013). While Tomorrowland remains one of the biggest festivals for electronic dance music, it has likely served as a great model for festival planners across all genres, as this tradition continues to grow as a summer staple for music lovers around the world.