Spain breaks records during the still popular Semana Santa

by Lorraine Williamson
Semana Santa record

Spain closes Semana Santa with record figures, both in terms of hotel occupancy and the prices paid for one or more overnight stays. On the Spanish islands, along the coast and in the larger cities, the hotels were packed with domestic and foreign tourists. 

This has largely exceeded the forecasts previously made by organisations and the hotel sector itself. Not only the fact that there were no longer travel restrictions as in the corona times, the weather and the warm temperatures for the period of the year also helped. 

Occupancy rate in Spanish hotels rises to 100%

The average occupancy of hotels in Spain this week was 80%. This year again, hoteliers received many last-minute bookings. The occupancy rate even reached 100% on the Canary Islands, the coast of mainland Spain and in cities where many Easter processions were held, such as Seville, Malaga, Toledo, Zamora and Valladolid. 

Also read: Hotel sector predicted Semana Santa demand

The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT) reports that during the first days of Semana Santa, the average hotel occupancy rate was 65% – 70%, rising to an average of 95% on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. According to the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies (CEAV), these figures reflect a total recovery in hotel activity compared to pre-crisis and pandemic figures. 

As has been the case in the past, it is mainly the British, Germans and French who attend the Semana Santa celebrations in Spain. Furthermore, it appears that tourism from Latin America, Switzerland and Portugal is also recovering. 

Spanish aviation also reports almost complete recovery during Semana Santa 

The Spanish aviation organisation Aena says that Spanish airports have almost reached pre-pandemic figures. With nearly 61,000 flights arriving and departing from Spain this week, the number is 1.5% above last year’s level. However, it is still 4.6% below the level of 2019 Semana Santa, a year that also set a record in this area. 

Also read: Semana Santa in Spain

Prices for hotel accommodation in Spain are on average 19% higher than in 2019 

Not only the number of tourists that came to Semana Santa this year exceeded all expectations. The prices for a hotel stay also break historical records. The price for a hotel night has increased on average by 19% compared to prices in 2019. This significant increase is in response to the sharp increase in demand, CEHAT reports. This confederation already foresaw a so-called ‘price stress’ after the pandemic, but does not expect prices to fall extremely. In this respect, CEHAT therefore advises travellers not to wait until the last minute to book and, for example, to make use of early booking discounts. 

Also read: Fiestas, Ferias, and Celebrations in Spain 2023

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