Hotel bookings in Spain have already fallen by 13% since the war in Ukraine

by Lorraine Williamson
hotel Spain

MADRID – A day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was a tipping point in hotel bookings in Spain. While the Spanish tourism sector has shown a significant recovery since the pandemic, the number of expected bookings has fallen since the war. 

In recent months, more and more positive reports have come from Spain, mainly from the tourism sector. It appears Spain is recovering above-average quickly from the blows that the corona pandemic dealt for two years. 

Another dark cloud over Spain’s tourism sector 

Yet again a dark cloud hangs over this sector; the war between Russia and Ukraine. From February 23 – the day before the invasion of Russian units in Ukraine – to March 3, the number of accommodation bookings in Spain fell by 13%. Mirai, a company that analyses booking sites for thousands of hotels, came to this conclusion. 

Can Semana Santa Save the Tourism Industry? 

Like every year, Semana Santa is currently the period for which most bookings are made in Spanish cities. Many foreigners normally come to Spain for this traditional phenomenon. Furthermore, many Spaniards also book several nights in a hotel every year to enjoy the festivities around the Semana Santa. 

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Since the beginning of the war, a large number of international tourists do not dare to book a holiday in Spain. The largest decreases in the number of expected bookings can be seen among tourists from Poland (-57%), Finland (-44%), and Norway (-39%). With regard to bookings from Spanish tourists, only a decrease of 4% is visible. 

Spanish hotel chain sees many cancellations from Russia 

The Spanish hotel chain Barceló told the Spanish news site Hosteltur.com earlier this week that cancellations mainly from Russian tourists are pouring in at their hotels located in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey, countries that are very popular with Russians. 

What does the future of tourism in Spain look like? 

According to Mirai analysts, it is difficult to make predictions for the coming months within the tourism sector. However, the tourism sector could also seize opportunities in this regard, as Spain is a destination that has so far been kept out of the war. The Canary Islands, in particular, could therefore be attractive for people who still want to book a holiday ‘mainly safe’. 

Related article: Hotel bookings increase since pandemic

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