Spanish hotels raise their prices to pre-pandemic levels

The recovery of tourism in Spain continues at half gas. This summer, tourist activity is growing strongly in relation to the data of the terrible 2020, but they are still far from the pre-pandemic levels, when the sector went from record to record in all records. And that recovery, moreover, is uneven: the demand of Spanish clients is pulling strongly, but that of foreign tourists is still very affected by the restrictions, diagnostic tests and quarantines still in force in many countries.

Spanish hotels have achieved double this summer the overnight stays registered in relation to last year (86.9 million overnight stays in July, August and September, compared to only 44 million in the black 2020), but they are still 32% below those reached in the summer of 2019, before of the damage caused in the sector by the epidemic, according to the records of the Statistics National Institute (OTHER).

In this scenario of incomplete reactivation, what hotels have achieved is rrecover the prices of your rooms and raise them up to pre-crisis levels. In September, the average daily rate (ADR) set by the establishments stood at 94.10 euros per night, 28% more than last year (73.31 euros per night) and almost equaling to the cent the price they registered in September 2019 (94.17 euros).

The rise in prices is generalized, with up to fourteen autonomous communities managing to recover the level of rates prior to the deep crisis in the tourism sector caused by Covid. The regions, on the other hand, that continue in September with hotel prices below the 2019 levels are Madrid (hit by the stoppage of business trips) Catalonia (which suffers from the lack of demand for international tourism), and also the Basque Country and the Region of Murcia.

Below in profitability

The rise in rates to prepandemic levels has not yet been reflected in the effective recovery of the business and profitability. One thing is the price at which the room is offered and quite another how much is entered effectively. And it is that revenue for each available room (a fundamental ratio for measuring profitability in the hotel sector and known as RevPAR) remains well below pre-crisis levels.

In September, the RevPAR of the entire Spanish hotel sector was 56.12 euros per night (this is the average of what the hotels managed to enter for each of the rooms that were operational, taking into account that the unoccupied entered zero and the reserved ones got the full rate). With this, the establishments doubled the RevPAR of last year (22.45 euros), but they are still very far from the 71.83 euros of the last September before the pandemic.

A decrease in profitability as a result of the average hotel occupancy it remains in only 52.2% of the rooms reserved, double that of September 2020 (26.5%), but still very low in relation to the 67.1% occupancy of the same month of 2019. And that despite the fact that one in four hotels in Spain was still closed this September. Last month, 14,554 establishments were operating in the Spanish market, 75.6% of the total plant of hotels and hostels in the country. There are 2,550 more hotels than those that were open last year, but also 2,000 fewer than those that were in September 2019.

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That the reactivation is not full is also noticeable in employment. According to data from the INE’s Hotel Tourism Situation Survey, in September the hotels open in Spain They had just under 210,660 active workers, which implies a strong rebound compared to last year, double that of last year, with 100,000 more employees. But the hotel sector still has not recovered one in four jobs Prepandemic: in September 2019, hotels had almost 274,500 operating workers, some 65,000 more employees than this year.

Tourism continues to be one of the sectors most directly affected by the impact of the pandemic and for which the recovery is being slower, as it is so conditioned by restrictions on the movements of citizens. According to Social Security data, in September there were still 239,230 workers in ERTE associated with Covid-19, and tourism concentrated almost four out of every ten of the total employees protected by this formula.

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