INE: Foreigners Account For 82% Of Overnight Stays In 5-Star Hotels

29 August 2017 – El Economista

Foreigners who visited Spain in July registered more than 1.9 million overnight stays in five-star hotels, representing 82% of the total number of nights sold in the most luxurious category of hotel accommodation.

According to data extracted by Servimedia from the Tourist Hotel Environment Survey from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), five-star hotels recorded the highest percentage of clients from overseas, exceeding the average for hotel accommodation as a whole, where foreign clients accounted for 67.2% of all rooms, by 15 percentage points.

In fact, 6.5% of the overnight stays by foreigners in Spanish hotels were registered in five-star hotels, a percentage that more than doubles the 2.8% recorded by domestic clients in high-end establishments.

Meanwhile, four-star hotels registered more activity in Spain by both overseas and domestic tourists. The presence of foreign clients amounted to 69.3%, with 14.6 million overnight stays, compared to 6.4 million overnight stays by domestic visitors.

This figure of overnight stays in four-star hotels accounted for 49.7% of all stays registered by overseas tourists in the country, compared to a percentage of 45.2% in the case of domestic tourists.

If we add together the overnight stays registered in the two highest categories, we see that 56.3% of the foreigners that visited Spain in July slept in four and five-star hotels, whilst in the case of Spaniards, that percentage amounted to 48.1%.

After four star hotels, the accommodation most used by foreigners and by local tourists alike were three-star hotels, which hosted 33.2% of overseas tourists and 28.8% of domestic visitors.

Specifically, international tourists registered 9.7 million overnight stays in three-star hotels in July, accounting for 70.2% of the total in that category, compared to 4.1 million domestic overnight stays.

In the remaining categories, 1.4 million overnight stays or 4.7% of the total number of stays by foreigners were in two-star hotels; 0.4 million or 1.5% were in 1-star hotels; 0.5 million or 1.9% were in three- and two-star hostels; and 0.6 million or 2.1% in one-star hostels.

Of these four categories, domestic clients accounted for a higher percentage of total stays than foreigners in the lowest three, whilst overseas tourists accounted for 52.2% of overnight stays in two-star hotels. Specifically, domestic clients accounted for 54.3% of stays in one-star hotels, 58% in three- and two-star hostels and 50.7% in one-star hostels.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona City Hall Suspends Tourist Licences For 1 Year

3 July 2015 – Cinco Días

The mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has fulfilled one of the promises she made during the election campaign for the municipal elections with the launch of a one-year moratorium for the granting of tourist licences in the city. “Tourism is one of the city’s main assets and we have to take care of it and make it sustainable”, she said.

Colau’s announcement had been expected by the market, since it had been one of her main promises during the election campaign, but it did not take shape until yesterday. Barcelona’s City Council, governed by Barcelona en Comú, has taken the decision to freeze licences for at least one year. The town council’s aim is to submit a Special Plan for the Regulation of Tourist Accommodation during the first quarter of next year, although it does not rule out extending that period by another year.

Some of the most iconic hotel projects being carried out in Barcelona include the conversions of Torre Agbar, the Deutsche Bank tower and the Henkel building. But, according to Janet Sanz, deputy mayoress of ecology, urban development and mobility, the actual list is longer and includes around thirty properties. “We are not saying that none of these projects will go ahead, simply that we are beginning a process of reflection on our tourism model”.

This moratorium, which comes in addition to the one that already exists in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Vella, is intended to allow time for an in-depth analysis of the stock of tourist accommodation in the city, so that the existing supply and the economic and social impact of tourism can be evaluated and diagnosed. The freeze will affect all establishments, from luxury hotels to hostels, so that a “calm debate” can be held about the situation in the city. Plans are afoot at the Deutsche Bank tower, which KKH purchased  last year, to build a five star Four Seasons hotel, costing €150 million, and the plan is to open a Grand Hyatt hotel in the Torre Agbar, which Emin Capital acquired in 2013. Others, such as the property being renovated by the construction company owned by Josep Lluís Núñez, the former President of FC Barcelona, will be excused from the moratorium.

In terms of Spanish hotel chains, the moratorium may affect Barceló, which is planning to open two new establishments in the city: one on Avenida Diagonal, 414 with views of the Casa de les Punxes, and the other, the conversion of the former headquarters of Nubiola Pigmentos, on the corner of Pau Claris and Gran Vía, which is still in its early phases. Nearby, one of Melia’s ME hotels, with 173 rooms, on the corner of Calle Casp and Paseo de Gracia may be affected. (…). Iberostar, Room Mate and Praktik Hotels could also be affected. (…).

The market regards the moratorium as a sign of insecurity for the entry of new investors. “The decision creates legal and administrative insecurity and leaves investors interested in entering the city on stand by”, says Inmaculada Ranero, CEO of Christie + Co for Spain and Portugal. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake