Düsseldorf could build 'tent city' for Eurovision as hotels fill up

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21 Jan, 2011 Updated Fri 21 Jan 2011 15:15 CEST
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Facing sky-high demand for overnight lodging in the run-up to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, host Düsseldorf is considering erecting a “tent city,” with hotels in the city centre near capacity just five months before the event.

The city has also appealed to the public for help in preventing an accommodations shortage. A website set up to facilitate flat and room rentals during the competition features more than 1,000 beds in private residences available for booking, according to the head of Düsseldorf Marketing and Tourism, Eva-Maria Illigen-Günther.

Illigen-Günther said hotels in central Düsseldorf are almost completely booked for the dates of Eurovision. If the number of hotel rooms and private residences for rent fall short, the city will weigh the option of a tent set-up.

Some 35,000 people are expected to attend the finale on May 14 at the city’s Esprit Arena, with more expected in the preceding days for rehearsals and the semifinals. Düsseldorf was chosen as the location for the 2011 event, after Hannover’s Lena Meyer-Landrut won last year’s competition and thus, hosting rights for Germany.

But Eurovision isn’t the only event set to draw visitors to Düsseldorf in May: The Interpack packaging trade fair will take place from May 12 and 18. Three years ago, some 180,000 people attended the exhibition.

Düsseldorf’s hotels only have about 23,400 beds available.

Meanwhile, the city is pushing forward with construction projects in the months leading up to Eurovision. The city expects there to be only about a dozen building sites around the city in May – a major reduction over initial expectations of three times that number. Large projects, such as the €650-million U-Bahn line, will be ongoing.

Authorities see the building sites as an “expression of dynamism, growth and investment activity in Düsseldorf.” Some of the fencing around construction projects, which have a combined length of one-and-a-half kilometers, will be available for ad placement during the competition.




2011/01/21 15:15

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