By John Ensor •
Published: 15 Aug 2023 • 15:52
Credit: Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock.com
Despite the rising cost of fuel and hotel stays, the Spanish tourist industry appears to go from strength to strength.
With hotels reaching full occupancy and fuel prices at all-time highs, the August long weekend has marked a high point in the summer season, according to Nuis Diario, Tuesday, August 15.
During the long weekend that celebrates the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Spain saw high occupancy figures throughout the country, especially on the coast. Beatriz Carballido, manager of the Pontevedra Hotel and Catering Federation, explained, ‘Many places have been 100 per booked these days and the little that was left has been realised with last-minute sales.’
In the Valencian Community, areas such as the Costa Blanca had already reached 90 per cent of confirmed bookings by the middle of last week, according to Hosbec, the hotel employers’ association.
In Andalucia, occupancies were close to full capacity, with Malaga’s Mayor Francisco de la Torre pointing out that occupancy exceeded estimates by eight or nine points, and five-star hotels reached over 95 per cent.
The hotel sector in Cádiz was equally optimistic. Antonio de María, the president, assured that establishments would be ‘bursting at the seams’ during the long weekend. Rural tourism associations such as Asetur or Autural estimated that accommodation booked for the dates would be between 95 per cent and full.
With one and a half million seats offered by Renfe and almost 32,150 flights in the airports of the Aena network, very positive turnover figures are forecast for the tourism sector. ‘We are fully confident that the forecasts that point to a record for the month of August will be fulfilled. These days many areas are already booked in at around 90 per cent, so we are talking about practically full occupancy,’ emphasised José Luis Yzuel, president of Hostelería de España.
The head of the sector’s employers’ association believes that this summer will allow turnover to grow by 10 per cent compared to last year. ‘We are talking about a very good year for tourism, we are in record employment, with more than 100,000 workers above that of 2019, so it gives a clear picture that sales records are going to be beaten,’ he said.
Despite the increase in prices of some products and services related to travel, more than 8.5 million journeys were forecast to be made. Fuel prices reached a 2023 high of €1.68 per litre for petrol, and diesel rose to €1.552 euros per litre. Hotel prices increased by 14 per cent compared to last year, with the biggest increases in Murcia and Cantabria.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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