Does the start of schools in Spain mean the end of the tourist season?

by Lorraine Williamson
the tourist season is over

The tourist season seems to be coming to an early end for hotels in Spain. Although Spaniards themselves went on holiday en masse in their own country, there was no major international tourismMany hotels in Spain, therefore, have decided to close their doors early.

Although there were previously positive stories about the recovery of tourism, partly thanks to the Spaniards themselves, the lack of crowds of foreign tourists now appears to be the reason that the summer cannot be extended until September or October. Many hotels will therefore have to close their doors in the coming week because it is no longer profitable to stay open for the few tourists who still come. 

More than 15% fewer hotels open in Spain 

Spanish newspaper La Razón reported on Wednesday that Spain received 6 million fewer foreign tourists in July than in the same month before the pandemic. Hosteltur previously wrote on its website that 14,462 hotels opened their doors to tourists in July. That is 15.5% less than the number of hotels that opened in July 2019, before the pandemic. Yet it is again more than the more than 12,000 hotels that were open in July 2020. 

cogesa expats

The Spanish hotel association CEHAT has analysed Hosteltur’s data and according to the association, it is mainly the five-star hotels (27%) that are closing their doors soon. 20% of the hotels that close are four-star hotels and 13% are three-star hotels. 

School and work start at the end of the tourist season 

The same association expects a significant drop in tourism activity in September as regards the domestic market. Schools will start again in September and people will go back to work. The conclusion at this point is that international tourism is far from recovering and that it is unlikely to recover in the coming months. Hotels in many areas in Spain will therefore not be able to keep their doors open, the CEHAT said. 

Bright spots from abroad 

Despite the gloomy outlook for the coming months, the tourism sector remains hopeful. Germany recently announced that it would no longer consider all of Spain a high-risk area from the end of August. The Netherlands has designated Spain as a yellow area since mid-August. And Spain remains on the amber list for UK travellers. This news could boost bookings for September and October. 

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