The end of Spain’s state of alarm boosts the wanderlust of Spaniards. Since the alarm was lifted on May 9th, the number of bookings has increased enormously. There is now a veritable price war between Spanish travel agents.
According to the online travel agency Rumbo, the number of bookings in Spain increased by 62% in the past week compared to the end of April. The cause for this increase is not only the lifting of the alarm but also the fact travel agents are offering trips at considerable discounts.
For example, Rumbo writes about a price drop of about 30% for holidays compared to the prices of previous years. Travel providers almost all offer their customers a ‘money-back guarantee’ if the trip cannot go ahead if the health situation changes.
Spaniards looking for sun and beach
Spaniards appear to be mainly looking for sun and beach destinations. Outings are currently predominantly booked by couples. The distance travelled on average is also logically longer than was the case in recent months. This has everything to do with reopening the regional borders.
Travel industry Spain still a long way to go
Still, the travel industry says there is still a long way to go. Spain ended the first quarter of 2021 with only 39% of hotel bookings compared to the same quarter in 2019. Although the government announced weeks ago the state of alarm would not be renewed after May 9th, many Spaniards waited to book.
Domestic tourism contrasts sharply with number of foreign tourists in Spain
The revival of domestic tourism is in stark contrast to the number of foreigners who are holidaying in Spain. Despite various campaigns, it seems Spain can only expect large numbers of foreign tourists in June.
To save the summer and tourism, the Spanish government launched the ‘Te mereces España’ (You Deserve Spain) campaign. The campaign aims to attract tourists from mainly the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. Spain’s Minister Reyes Maroto expects to welcome some 40 million foreign tourists this year, about half the number in 2019.
Vaccination should save Spanish tourism
The Spanish government is relying on the vaccination strategy to regain confidence in the tourism industry. In the ‘pre-Covid year’, this sector accounted for €154billion, 12.4% of Spain’s GDP. The forecasts for this year are between €66billion and €77billion, slightly above revenues in 2020, the so-called ‘black year’ of the sector.