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Spain: The temperature is rising for tourism

Spain welcomed 29.2 million foreign tourists in the first six months of the year, resulting in 4.2% growth over 2014. Hotel results confirm this trend. The revenue per available room is up 10.6% over the same period last year. Spain is back on a bullish trend in 2015, and could deliver growth rates unseen since boom years.

Spain announced it welcomed 29.2 million foreign tourists in the first semester this year, meaning 1.2 million more travelers than the previous year. This growth by 4.2% is a new record for the country.

As the leading source market, the United Kingdom represents 6.7 million visitors (+2.6%). Germany remains in second place with 4.7 million (+1.6%). France completes the podium with 4.6 million and good growth in tourist arrivals by 7.5%. Among the strongest increases, we should mention the American market (+15.7%) whereas the Russian market does quite the opposite and collapses (-35.7%). This is due to the depreciation of the ruble.

Catalonia is the region that attracts the most international visitors with 7.4 million arrivals. The election of the new mayor Ada Colau could change things in the long term since she wishes to regulate the tourism industry. The Canary and Balearic Islands follow with 5.6 and 4.4 million units respectively. With four million foreign visitors (+7.6%), Andalusia remains a dynamic region, particularly prior to the period when the temperature rises. The autonomous community of Madrid can nonetheless be happy since with 2.5 million visitors, it achieved the strongest increase in number of foreign tourists (+8.2%).

According to data from MKG Hospitality, the performances of chain hotels reached 66.7% the first semester, for a 2.9 point increase over the same period last year. And with an increase in average daily rate by 5.8% (to 77€), the Revenue per available room climbed 10.6%.

Change in hotel chain results between 2014 and 2015





Looking more closely, month by month, performances climbed steadily over the first six months of the year. The RevPar experienced a double-digit increase each month, except for February when it dropped by 0.9% due to calendar effects that pushed the RevPAR rise to new highs (+21.4%) in March.

With the recent terrorist attacks in Tunisia weakening destinations in the Maghreb, many European tourists are likely to head to Spain's beaches. It may as well be said: Spanish tourism is likely to beat its arrivals record this year. Given that domestic tourism is also recovering thanks to improving economic conditions in the country, in 2015 Spain's hotel market is on track to deliver RevPAR growth rates unseen since the boom years of the early 2000s.

Also read:



  • Barcelona: what lies in store for tourism after the municipal elections?
  • Barcelona puts a freeze on delivering permits for new hotels

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