International tourism reactivates, but remains 13% below 2019 levels

The international tourism is reactivated, but is still 13% below 2019 levels. The elimination of mobility restrictions due to Covid has allowed foreign tourism to come closer to recovery. According to the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (Cehat), in the second quarter of the year, reservations and overnight stays stood at 87% compared to pre-pandemic levels, but it is still weighed down by Asian or long-distance tourism .

In 2019 they were registered 10.6 million international tourists housed in Spain in a hotel during the second quarter of the year; while in 2022 9.2 million tourists have been registered in the same period.

Specifically, the travel intention of the European countries The number of tourists from the Nordic countries has skyrocketed, in particular, almost doubling the levels of 2019. Likewise, a study carried out by PwC and Cehat points out that the intention to travel of tourists from the Netherlands, Italy and Germany also it has grown to exceed the pre-pandemic intention by more than 50%.

For his part, the british tourism has definitively recovered, reaching a similar travel intention to 2019.

In general, the intention to travel to Spain has rebounded in the second quarter of 2022. Thus, our country is reinforced after the pandemic with travel intentions more than 50% higher than 2019 in countries such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.

National tourism

For its part, the turism national It exceeds the levels of 2019. Thus, before the pandemic, 9 million national tourists staying in Spanish establishments were registered; while in 2022 9.4 million tourists have been reached during the second quarter of the year.

In this sense, the study reveals that, despite the fact that runaway inflation has eroded the intention to travel in June, the tourism sector will touch the recovery this summer.

Looking ahead to the summer season, the report indicates that reserves have grown notably, doubling the values ​​of 2021 in the months of July and September and reinforcing the solid recovery of the sector. However, it should be noted that the cancellations in the second quarter of the year they continue to be higher than those of 2019, although they have been reduced by 20 percentage points compared to the same period of 2021.

macroeconomic scenario

Despite the positive results and prospects, Cehat and PwC call for caution, stressing that «the macroeconomic environment is threatening». In this sense, the report reveals that growth forecasts remain pessimistic, slowing down Spain’s recovery until the end of 2023.

Within the macroeconomic trends, the tourism employers point out that it must be taken into account that, at the national level, the rising mortgage prices produces a reduction in the purchasing power of Spanish families and, at an international level, the scenario “is also discouraging since, for example, the devaluation of the pound affects English tourists who see how their trips to Spain become more expensive” .

To this is added that the price of energy and food have risen considerably in recent months and the situation is expected to continue until 2024. In this sense, the report points out that the inflation forecast for the coming years (above 4%) shows that it is a structural and not a temporary inflation .

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