Tourists at Madrid's Barajas airport. / sur

Rising prices mean tourists are spending more on their summer holidays in Spain

The high inflation rate is not putting Spanish travellers off, even though they have spent up to 20% more than originally planned

EDURNE MARTÍNEZ Madrid

Spanish travellers appear to have listened to the advice to take a holiday this summer because autumn is going to be more difficult due to inflation and the energy crisis. Hotels on the coast and inland are reporting full occupancy levels and it is hard to find a country house, holiday apartment or even a campsite with vacancies unless you are looking well in advance.

For example, the average price for a hotel room is now nearly 106 euros, which is 23% more than the 86 euros last year, according to figures for June just released by the National Institute of Statistics (NIE) and everything indicates that the cost will be even more expensive in July and August due to the high demand.

And the more demand there is, the more employment there is too. Half of all new jobs created in Spain between April and June were in the tourism sector, and nearly three million people currently work in tourism, 13.5% more than last year and more than before the pandemic. Unemployment in the tourism sector is 8%, four percentage points lower than the national average.

However, inflation reached 10.8% in July, the highest for decades, and this has pushed prices up, leading people to look for the cheapest alternatives. According to a survey by Passport-Photo, 94% of travellers said they had had to spend more on their holiday this year, and they calculated that the difference was between 10% and 20%.

76 per cent more on accommodation

The latest report by the financial firm Revolut shows an average spending increase of 4.3% in July compared with June, and a rise of 30% when compared with July last year. It says that Spanish travellers spent 76% more on accommodation in July than they did in June.

However, although spending on travel in general rose by 13%, it dropped by 5% with regard to flights in July compared with June. One reason was the strikes and lack of staff at European airports, and fares were also more expensive because of the rising fuel costs. Some travellers opted to go by train instead, where the amount spent was 9% higher than the previous month, or by bus (11%).

The INE figures show that transport costs went up the most (16.2% in a year), hotels and restaurants by 7.6% and, in general, prices in tourism and hospitality have risen by 7.2% in the past year.