Hotel prices have risen by more than the rate of inflation. / efe

Tourism in Spain takes off again and the average price of a hotel room rises to 120 euros, an increase of 17 per cent

The sector returned to pre-pandemic levels in July, when there were 42 million overnight stays in hotels and an average occupancy rate of 70 per cent

EDURNE MARTÍNEZ Madrid

You only have to try to book a hotel in any tourist resort in Spain to see that the sector is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Figures published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) this week have left no room for doubt: in July tourist figures were similar to those three years ago, which was already a record year.

There were over 42.3 million overnight stays in Spanish hotels in July, and the occupancy rate was 70%. This is despite the high inflation rate, which is pushing hotel prices up. In fact, hotel prices in July rose even higher (16.4%) than inflation (10.8%).

It meant that the average price of a hotel room in July this year was 17.5% more expensive than in July 2021, at 121.40 euros a night. The most expensive hotels were in the Balearic Islands, with an average of 152 euros a night, followed by Andalucía with an average of 130 euros, although in some places such as Marbella it reached 290 euros per room per night.

In the Basque Country the average price per room was 125 euros in July, which was 30% higher than last year. Catalonia was also above the national average, with hotel rooms costing an average of 124 euros (29% more).

The positive tourism figures have brought life back to Spanish hotels after two years when many of them were closed because of the pandemic. In July 16,437 hotels in Spain were open, compared with 12,600 a year previously and just over 8,000 in July 2020. And the more hotels that are open, the more jobs there are in the sector. The INE statistics show that 277,829 people were working in Spanish hotels last month, many more than the 156,000 in July 2021.