24 August 2016 – Expansión
The Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Valencia recorded the highest occupancy rates during the month. There was no “Brexit effect”: the British market grew by 15%. The sector believes that it has recorded from the losses of the crisis.
The tourism sector has moved full steam ahead during the first half of the year and, above all, so far this summer. In July, there were 42.8 million overnight hotel stays (28.1 million foreigners and 14.6 million Spaniards), up by 7.4% compared with the same month in 2015, when the figure had risen by 6% YoY. There are two main drivers of this acceleration: overseas tourists, whose stays increased by 8.2%, and Spain’s own residents, whose stays rose by 5.7% in July compared with last year, according to data published yesterday by INE. Sources in the sector consider that the problems of the crisis, above all in terms of the domestic market, are now behind us.
The autonomous regions with the highest occupancy rates during the seventh month of the year were the Balearic Islands (91%), the Canary Islands (84.9%), Valencia (77.9%) and Cataluña (75.8%). The most successful area in terms of the number of beds occupied was the island of Mallorca, with a 92.1% occupancy rate and Palma-Calvià, which achieved a higher occupancy rate on the weekends (90.9%). In terms of total overnight stays, the most popular area was the Costa del Sol, with more than 2.3 million overnight stays during the month.
And not only did the number of overnight stays rise, hotel prices also increased in July: by 7.5% compared with a year ago, which represents an increase of 1.5 points over the rate obtained then (6%). Again, the autonomous regions that contributed the most to this increase were the Balearic Islands (with a YoY increase of 10%), Andalucía (8.9%), the Canary Islands (8%) and Cataluña (5%).
In addition, the average revenue per room occupied stood at €93.20, up by 6.3% YoY. By hotel category, the average income was €208.40 for five-star properties; €102.40 for four-star hotels and €79.40 for three-star establishments (…).
In addition to the economic recovery, which has relaunched domestic demand after it was significantly depressed during the crisis, one reason that explains the strong tourism figures in Spain is the difficulties that competing countries are facing, such as Turkey, whose tourist market is experiencing decreases of 30% following the terrorist attacks in recent months, and Egypt, with a decline of almost 70%, following five years of political and social instability since the outbreak of the Arab spring (…).
For the time being, the figures do not reflect any negative effect from Brexit in terms of the arrival of British visitors. Quite the opposite: in July, Brits recorded 1.28 million overnight stays in Spain, up by 15% compared with the same month in 2015. “So far in 2016, the British market has grown by 20%”, said Juan Molas, Chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT), who revealed that reservations made by tour operators for the winter season (November-April) already reflect an increase of 16% compared with the same period last year.
Despite the general recovery in terms of overnight hotel stays, sector representatives are still warning about the increase in the use of unregulated establishments through platforms such as Airbnb, Homeaway and Niumba, amongst others. “The use of these services unbalances the tourist model”, said Inmaculada Benito, Chairwoman of the Hotel Business Federation in Mallorca. A war has been declared on these types of businesses in cities such as Barcelona.
Original story: Expansión (by Yago González)
Translation: Carmel Drake