Travel agencies in Spain are very optimistic about the upcoming holidays. The number of bookings for Puente de la Constitución and Christmas has increased by 10% compared to 2020. Consequently, the sector hopes to speak of recovery very soon.
On Monday, Hosteltur.com stated the Association of Specialised Travel Agencies (ACAVe) is delighted with bookings for the holiday period. The 450 affiliated travel agencies see an average increase of 10% in the number of bookings for the next 3 to 4 weeks.
Spaniards seize holidays for short week vacation
The number of bookings is far from reaching the level of 2019. However, there is an increase in the number of bookings compared to 2020. Nearly 60% of the travel agencies surveyed even see an increase that exceeds the aforementioned 10%.
The Puente de la Constitución this year falls on Monday, December 6. And on Wednesday, December 8, Spain celebrates the Inmaculada Concepción (the Immaculate Conception of Mary). Despite the fact that the Tuesday in between is officially a working day, Spaniards seize these days to go away for a week.
Unlike last year, bookings for the holidays are now made much earlier. 54% of bookings were made between 1 and 3 months in advance. 30% of trips were planned a month in advance.
Bookings rise despite increasing infections and omicron variant in Spain
For a few weeks now, an increase in the number of infections has been visible in Europe again. And a little later the figures also rose again in Spain. The emergence of the omicron variant could also once again pose a threat to the tourism sector. Nevertheless, the increase in bookings continues, perhaps boosted by additional offers during Black Friday.
Spaniards have confidence in travel
President Martín Sarrate of the ACAVe association hopes to be able to speak about the recovery of the sector within a considerable period of time. Sarrate: “The past two years have been the worst in history and many partners have had to close their doors or offer their people an ERTE scheme. However, we see that our predictions were correct and that people are regaining the sense and confidence to travel. These numbers are clear proof of this.”
This confidence is also reflected in the increasing vaccination figures. Many Spaniards still opted for a vaccination last week to be able to spend Christmas with family and/or go on holiday.
Travel industry hit hard in Spain
According to data recently provided by the association through their Travel Market, member travel agents have had to lay off 15% of their staff during the pandemic and 25% of outlets have been lost. The industry lost 90% in sales in 2020 and expects to lose about half in sales this year compared to pre-pandemic years.