Recovery of tourism sector not equal throughout Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
Tourism sector

MADRID – In general, the tourism sector in Spain is in much better shape than it was during the deepest crisis of the pandemic. However, there is a big geographical difference in the extent to which the sector has managed to climb out of this trough. 

For example, income for the tourism sector in Andalucia and on the coast of Valencia has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but the recovery in Spanish cities is less successful. Here, revenues are still 40% below pre-pandemic levels. In the Spanish coastal areas, the increase in income has increased, partly due to a significant price increase. 

This is the result of a survey by the tourism alliance Exceltur among 90 different destinations in Spain. The conclusion about the recovery is based on the average revenue per available hotel room in these destinations. 

Ibiza Town well exceeds 2019 revenue 

The island of Ibiza is a good example of the uneven recovery within the sector. Within Spain, last year both the most and the least earned from tourists. Ibiza Town earned the most per available hotel room, namely €156, which is even 34% more than in 2019. In Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, on the other hand, the average income for an available hotel room fell by 43%, while this decrease at a national level was 25% compared to 2019. 

South and East coast fully recovered 

The recovery within the sector in 2021 was mainly due to the revival of national tourism. Income from this nearly reached pre-pandemic levels, thanks in part to a 17% price increase. Hotels in the south of Spain had even more revenue and profitability last year than in 2019. That was the case, for example, in Tarifa, where profitability increased by 14% compared to 2019. In Marbella it was 5%, in Estepona 25% and on the Costa de la Luz even as much as 36%. 

The hotel sector in the Valencia region has also recovered well, again thanks to a significant price increase. In Denia, 25% more was earned per room than in 2019, in Peñiscola 5.9% and in Benicasim 30%. 

On the Catalan coast, on the other hand, revenue per available hotel room fell by 56% on average, especially in places that rely mainly on foreign tourists. For example, the hotel sector in Salou collected 43% less, in Lloret de Mar 35%, and in Sitges 11% less than in 2019. 

Recovery in cities lags behind 

The recovery in the cities is also less great than on the coast of Valencia and Andalucia. Last year, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Bilbao and Seville earned 50% less per available hotel room compared to 2019. This is largely due to the lack of business trips to these cities. 

Nevertheless, the Spanish confederation for hotels and apartments CEHAT expects that revenues will also return to pre-pandemic levels in the cities next summer. The number of hotel reservations in Spanish cities is already on the rise, not only for the summer months but also for the coming Semana Santa, the holy week before Easter. 

Related post: Tourists enjoying Spain in a more carefree, alternative way

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