In spite of appeals from the Rector of the Fatima Shrine at the beginning of the month to avoid escalating prices for accommodation, there is high demand for lodging and price speculation during the Pope Francisco visit to celebrate 100 years of the place of worship.
The power and the significance of the celebration of the year 2017, that marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherd children at Fatima on May 1917,is leading to a exceptional number of worshippers from all corners of the world visiting the Shrine.
During Pope Francisco visit to Fatima, on 12 and 13 of May, some hotels in the area, advertise rates that are 40 times higher than the tariffs usually charged for accommodation.
Demand for lodging is leading to exorbitant prices, with some pilgrims renting a night in a sleeping bag for almost 1000 Euros.
For that specific date a double room with shared bathroom, costs 1200 Euros and apartments with accommodation for 10 people are asking prices up to 6.000 Euros ,while a bed in a dormitory for six people, with shared bathroom, will cost 500 Euros per night per person .
The demand for accommodation is spreading to a radius of about 60 kilometers to Santarém, 58 km from Fátima, where prices also increased five fold ,for one night for a double room .
An average of 4-5 million people visit Fatima each year, but the centennial celebration and the visit of Pope Francisco makes it a unique and unprecedented occasion for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims converging to the Holy Shrine this year.