Spain’s Tourism Industry is Back On its Feet

Spain’s Tourism Industry Is Back On Its Feet

Spain’s Tourism Industry Is Back On Its Feet

Recent data shows the recovery in Spain’s tourism industry is sustainable, and it is on course to regain its position as a pillar of the economy.

In the first quarter of 2014, 10.1 million international visitors came to Spain, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier, according to government tourism agency Frontur. During the country’s Easter week celebrations, hotels saw occupancy rates of 76 per cent, up 7 per cent year-on-year.

Strong figures for national tourism also augur well for the sector. Spanish travellers over Easter rose 16 percent from a year earlier, according to hotels confederation CEHAT. These tourists made a beeline for rural Spain and big cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

It, therefore, looks like another bumper summer tourism season could be on the cards, particularly if the relatively strong performance of the British pound continues. The UK still provides the largest group of visitors to Spain, making up 19.2 percent of foreign tourists.

 

SPAIN BENEFITS FROM GLOBAL TRAVEL OUTLOOK

The outlook for the global travel industry is brighter for 2014 as European economic recovery and rising consumer confidence spur holidaymakers and businesses to loosen their purse strings again. This is good news for Spain as tourism accounts for over 11 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP). In 2013, Spain overtook China to become the world’s third most popular tourist destination, clocking up a record 60.6 million international visitors, almost two million more than the previous record in 2008.

Political turmoil in other Mediterranean holiday spots last year – including Turkey and Egypt – made Spain’s coastal resorts and its islands a much more attractive option. But Spain’s leading position in Europe in terms of the price to quality ratio of its hotels has also helped put the tourism industry back on track. Hotel prices are well below those registered in 2009, before the economic crisis began to bite.

 

TOURISM INDUSTRY LURES FOREIGN INVESTORS

Spain’s economy is emerging from the doldrums, after exiting a two-year recession in the third quarter of 2013.  The government is confident the economy is finally turning the corner.

Last month, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said GDP is set to grow by an average of 1.5 per cent this year and next. The previous forecast for 2014 was for 0.7 per cent growth. This upbeat scenario will benefit the flow of foreign investment to Spain’s tourism industry, particularly from international hotel chains and property developers keen to cash in on the uptick in consumer confidence with new commercial and leisure hubs.

Looking ahead, the government’s proposed tax system reform for 2015 includes changes which will benefit individuals moving to Spain for business, as well as pensioners choosing to retire in the country. Planned tax benefits will fuel both tourism and consumption.

If you’re interested in working with Spain’s tourism industry, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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