This article was translated by John R. Bopp

The chronicles of two visitors to the European Rugby Champions Cup Final, held this past weekend in Bilbao, give us a good idea of the impressions thousands of visitors got of the largest Biscayne capital.

Organization, the city, the stadium, the food: perfect.  The only thing that was out of line was the price gouging on the part of the hotels and hospitality sector over those days.  This is definitely a clear lack of vision for the future, and an abuse that we expect will weaken our image for future events.

The fact that a room in the Casco Viejo, which normally costs €75 a night, ended up going for €439 is simply outrageous.  This is from the same hospitality sector that reacted with an inconceivable “It wasn’t all that much” to a weekend in which we’re sure their sales were through the roof, and in which the rise in prices was completely unjustifiable.

Complaints, there were plenty; requests, a ton; but when it came time to act with good judgment, there was a clear sense of opportunism, even when this could seriously damage the image of our city, and country.

And then, of course, we have those who complain about the “influx of people” who “invade our city”.  We imagine they’ve never traveled as tourists to Rome or London, or gone sightseeing in Venice or Vegas.  Surely they didn’t bother the locals when they invaded.

Epcrugby – 15/5/2018 – Europa

‘Bilbao has been exceptional’ says O’Driscoll

Leinster Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll has described the city of Bilbao as an “exceptional choice” after hosting the ground-breaking 2018 European finals weekend.

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The 43 – 7/5/2018 – Irlanda

Letter from Bilbao: Leinster feel a bond in the Basque Country

COINCIDENTALLY ENOUGH, THE first local who crossed our path was a rugby fanatic. Bilbao isn’t globally renowned as a rugby hotbed but there is serious interest from people here in tomorrow’s Champions Cup final.

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