Twelve months ago, the hope of returning to levels of hotel reservations in Spain in line with other years was almost a dream. Today, with the vaccination against the coronavirus advancing at a good pace, it has become a reality and the sector begins its long-awaited recovery.
According to SiteMinder data, the number of hotel reservations in Spain reached the same level at the end of last June as that registered on the same dates in 2019. In fact, it confirms the positive trend that started on May 9, when The state of alarm in the country ended and free movement was allowed again. Specifically, hotel reservations rebounded from 57% on May 1 to 87% on June 1 compared to the same dates in fiscal year 2019.
However, this platform, which works with more than 35,000 hotels around the world, indicates that this recovery has not occurred homogeneously in all regions and there are still some whose reservations are becoming more popular. Especially, the big differences are between beach and urban tourism.
In this way, Malaga and Valencia registered an advance in their reservations of 112% and 103%, respectively, thus ranking among the most recovered cities in Europe in terms of hotel reservations.
Against these, Seville, Barcelona and Madrid have not yet reached pre-pandemic figures, with 94%, 80% and 71% of the 2019 levels respectively, which shows how tourists want to stay away from large cities even within a few months.
Leaders in Europe
Currently, the world average of hotel reservations stands at 67% of the levels prior to the pandemic and Spain is one of the countries of the Old Continent that is recovering the best.
In this sense, reservations in the country stand at 102% compared to 2019 data, surpassing other countries such as Ireland (which, despite the obligation of mandatory isolation for all travelers for 15 days until the next 15 July, has recovered 92% of its reserves); Portugal (which currently has measures similar to Spain, 76% in June compared to 93% last May due to the evolution of the pandemic in the country); o United Kingdom (which is still practically closed to all international tourists, the reservation rate stands at 72%).
However, all the experts consulted point out that the data on hotel reservations to measure the pulse of the sector in Spain is not as reliable as a few years ago, as almost all the chains have removed or modified their cancellation policies towards more flexible models than They can adapt to the evolution of the pandemic and thus encourage tourists to continue booking and to change their minds as the health situation develops.
To this we must also add, according to this portal, that there are still a significant number of closed hotels in the country (in 2019 there were 17,000 open compared to 10,464 last May, according to INE figures).
“Although the pandemic is far from over and all markets in Europe are managing the impact of travel restrictions and vaccination rates in a particular way, it is very promising to see Spain’s hotel reservations return to pre-levels. the pandemic, as both Spaniards and international travelers are enthusiastically booking their vacations and visits throughout the country, “said Sara Padrosa, SiteMinder director for Spain.
“There have been a number of short- and long-term changes in traveler preferences and behaviors, and hoteliers need to consider how they will continue to change in the months and years to come.