16/04/2014 – Expansion
The record year 2013 hosted 60.3 million foreign tourists and left a clear mark on accounts of such grandeur chains focused on holiday accommodation as RIU, Iberostar or Palladium. They registered a 5.6% increase in volume of visitants and grew between 6% and 30% last year.
Other hotel groups like Melia or Barceló that both benefit from urban and holiday accommodation, compensated the decrease in demand in Madrid and other cities (except for Barcelona) with revenues flowing from the beach & sun business.
“The Canary Islands performed best with a 5% improvement in occupancy. In the Balearic Islands, the appreciation was similar but rise in tariffs enhanced a two-digit growth in the final results, at the same pace as in the Peninsula, with a low occupancy rate, though”, a Barceló person said.
The positive development in 2013 has already influenced the first quarter of 2014. For example, the Canaries results were better than last year and expectations are high for the Easter time. Strikingly, both foreign and national tourists will arrive in the upcoming Holy Week.
For instance, Melia´s booking figures show between 16% and 20% advance in all Spanish destinations. Levante and Andalusia (Costa del Sol) enjoy the most robust popularity, just next to the Balearic Islands. The most frequent guests will be Britons and Germans.
Also, travel agencies emphasize that Spaniards themselves want to visit places again. “If the interest maintains, this Easter sales will be the best in the past few years”, says Rafael Gallego, president of the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies or Ceav.
In the first quarter, tourism GDP increased by 4.2% and 34.000 jobs were created. Moreover, confidence in the industry returned to 2007 levels. Taking into account the number of foreign visitors who came to our country by February, one may venture to estimate that by the end of the year historic record 62 million tourists will have spent their holidays in Spain.
Original article: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)
Translation: AURA REE