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Barceló chief pessimistic about next summer

Spain’s tourist outlook for the summer is dismal with sales dropping between 5 and 10 percent as vacationers cut back on spending and the length of hotel stays, predicted Simón Pedro Barceló, president of Barceló Corporación Empresarial hotel and travel group. “This year is going to be very difficult as we’ve already seen from the 20-percent fall in industry sales during the first four months of the year, which was the low season,” Barceló said at an economic conference in the Spanish capital. While the total decline in sales for 2009 could be between 10 and 15 percent compared to the previous year, Spain won’t see such a pronounced drop as last year when tourism spending was estimated at 30 percent less than in 2007, he said.

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