23/04/2014 – Expansion
The predictions made by the entire sector have come true. The news are joyful, all the more that the increase was not pushed by foreigners (they contributed with mere 3%) but by Spanish travelers, whose movement rose by 16% and therefore confirmed their growing trust in economic recovery.
According to the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT), average occupancy rate in the most popular destinations (like Malaga, Zamora, Toledo or Seville) rose by 4%, while the rural tourism places and the inland regions enjoyed a 20% jump in year-on-year terms. The organization claims that it is an unmistakable evidence of market revival after 5 years of depression.
Another good news is that the occupancy reached 70% for working days and hit 83% during the Easter break. For entire week, average occupancy post 75.7%, by 7 bps more than in 2013.
Some of the most illustrous beach&sun spots, such as the Mediterranean Coast and the Canary Islands, exceeded 95% occupancy. In fact, the Canaries experienced the best March ever as it has not only beaten its foreign visitor receipts record (1.11 million guests in only one month) but also it has been its sixth consecutive month of uninterrupted growth.
The first quarter of the year has been the golden strike for the Islands as 3.1 million tourists arrived at the place, that is by 10.6% more than a year before. Moreover, one third of all tourists visiting Spain this year have chosen this Archipelago (31%).
Travel agencies have also provided optimistic numbers. José Luis Méndez, director of Spain´s Travel Agencies Union (Unav) told Efe that during the Easter holidays internal tourism shot up by between 5% and 6% in comparison to the same celebration week last year.
Likewise, according to the data, average expenditure in Spanish hotels, including both accommodation and other costs, went up by 2.2% in regard to the previous year.
However, Méndez points out that the great performance in March is mostly due to maginificent weather, the Spanish Copa del Rey football competition and the fall in prices that are now found on 2007 levels.
For 2014, Spanish Government is expecting a new record in foreign visitors´number after having received 60.6 million people in 2013.
Generally, during the first quarter of 2014 Spain hosted 10.1 million tourists and this is by 7.2% (677.000 people) more than in the same period in 2013.
Other European countries, such as France, the UK, Germany, Italy or Scandinavian countries register increases in number of visitors as well.
Original article: Expansión (by Yago Gonzalez)
Translation: AURA REE