Tourism turning point reached in Spain thanks to domestic market

by Deborah Cater
Turning point for tourism sector came in July

The forecasts for tourism in Spain are positive again after a year and a half. Although Spain had a rough start in 2021, July appears to be the turning point. The hotel occupancy of popular Spanish sunny destinations seems almost normal.

Demand for sun and beach destinations, which have suffered the most from the lack of foreign tourists, has returned to pre-pandemic levels thanks to domestic demand. This writes the Spanish newspaper El Mundo after the published figures of Hosbec and Exceltur.

Occupancy rate of popular Spanish sunny destinations very optimistic

The Hosbec hotel sector draws this cautious conclusion following July and the first two weeks of August. This is especially the case in the Balearic Islands and along the Levante coast. The turnover here fell by about 70% last summer because many foreign tourists stayed away. As many Spaniards decided to spend their holidays here, the figures for August resemble those of the summer of 2019, according to Hosbec.

For example, the Costa Blanca registered an occupancy rate of over 80% in the first week of August. This was also the case in Valencia and Castellón. Benidorm approached nearly 80% last week.

Foreign tourism is slowly recovering in Spain

80% of the demand comes from tourists within Spain itself. Yet foreign tourism is slowly recovering and the remaining 20% of tourists come from abroad. Since July, 5% of tourists in Benidorm have come from the United Kingdom. In Valencia, that percentage is 37%.

nederlandse orthopeed

Many last-minutes to Spain since July

The latter is good news, especially given the restrictions placed on British tourists when it comes to holidays abroad. What stands out, according to Hosbec, are the many last-minutes that have been booked since July. The Balearic Islands are close to pre-pandemic levels. Although the loss of the past few months is still far from being made up, the outlook is very positive, reports consultancy Forwardkeys.

Not only is there interest in the touristic coastal areas of Spain, there is also a lot of demand within Spain for Asturias, Galicia and Cádiz. Expectations are also very positive for these areas. According to Exceltur, demand is currently only 9.4% below the pre-corona year 2019.

Tourism Spain hopeful about summer 2021

The Spanish statistics agency INE concluded earlier this month that Spain experienced its worst half-year in tourism ever. Nevertheless, INE, and now Exceltur, has been positive about the forecasts this summer since July.

According to Exceltur, tourism in Spain will generate almost €38 billion this summer. While this is a significant improvement from the €24 billion in 2020, it is still a long way from the more than €58 billion in the last normal summer of 2019.

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