MADRID – Despite inflation and high temperatures, the 2023 tourist summer season in Spain seems to be a great success. The urge to travel among both national and international tourists remains as strong as ever.
Many hotels had 100% occupancy during the weekends and they also expect record revenues. These results are increasingly approaching those of the excellent year 2019. Just before the outbreak of Covid-19, historic numbers of tourists came to Spain.
In July this summer, figures were reached that had never been recorded before by the Spanish Bureau of Statistics (INE). For example, the Hotel Occupancy Survey reports that Spain welcomed no fewer than 16.6 million tourists in this month. That is almost three times more than in 2020 when the pandemic hit tourism hard, and almost double the number at the beginning of this century.
Tourism in five regions not yet recovered
However, five regions are still lagging in the recovery race. Extremadura is the region most lagging: in July, 131,403 travellers stayed in the hotels, compared to 142,010 in 2019, a decrease of 7.4%. Castilla La Mancha, Navarra, Aragon and the Valencian Community were also unable to surpass the 2019 figures.
More tourists to the north of Spain
The shift of tourists from the Mediterranean coast to the north of Spain is striking, possibly because of the persistent heat this summer. The Valencian Community, for example, saw a slight decrease of 0.3% in tourist numbers compared to 2019.
Large hotel chains such as Meliá and Barceló are nevertheless positive and report that the results of this summer season are positive and even exceed or at least match those of last year. These companies see particularly strong growth in bookings for the third quarter, confirming that the expectations expressed earlier this year are being met.