Hotels in Spain forecast record winter season, especially with foreign bookings, despite higher prices

Hotels in Spain forecast record winter season, especially with foreign bookings, despite higher prices

Reservations for December are already 26% higher than the bumper year of 2019, with occupation levels 50% higher

Edurne Martínez

Palma de Mallorca

Sunday, 26 November 2023, 20:20


High hotel prices are not discouraging tourists to Spain, especially foreigners, who are filling establishments this year. The warm temperatures and the desire to travel are driving the tourism sector, which will close the year to represent 14% of GDP. Hoteliers are satisfied with the season, which will end above their expectations, and said that demand is resisting inflation.

At the XIX Congress of Hoteliers in Palma de Mallorca, Jorge Marichal, president of the Spanish Confederation of Tourist Hotels and Accommodations (Cehat), pointed out that the Smart Observatory Index, which they prepare together with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is already 18% above 2019 pre-pandemic figures, which indicates consumer confidence in our country. Portfolio occupancy is 29% for the winter months, 2% above 2022. In addition, cancellations have dropped 5% compared to those that existed at this time in 2019, which is a “very positive”, Marichal said at a press conference.

Regarding prices, the report presented indicates that the prices per occupied room is 26% above those in 2019, as is occupation (1% above). The best destinations are Madrid and the Balearic Islands, whose prices are 30% above those of 2019, with occupancy rates of 2-3% higher. The only destination that remains slightly below the pre-pandemic figures for occupation is Andalucía, according to PwC data.

In Spain reservations for December are already 26% higher than in 2019, with occupation levels 50% higher. At the price level, Madrid, the Canary Islands and Andalucía are the costliest destinations due to high demand.

On Thursday, Spain's INE national statistics institute, confirmed that the hotel occupancy in October had been 61%, the highest in a month of October in the historical series and 3% above last year and 2019. In total, 32.4 million hotel nights were reserved in October, some 9% more than last year. And this high demand is driving prices, which closed the month at 110 euros per occupied room, which is 10% more than in October last year and almost 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Hotel nights booked by people residing in Spain in October represented only 30% of the total, exceeding 9.6 million, while those of foreigners exceeded 20 million, 70% of the total. Holidaymakers from the United Kingdom (26.4%) and Germany (20%) accounted for almost half of arrivals of foreigners in the month of October, according to INE data.

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