Palma.—Palma and Barcelona were undoubtedly Spain's favourite city destinations in August with hotel occupancy levels way above other destinations , a “HotStats” report confirmed yesterday.

Palma and Barcelona apparently fared much better than Madrid where hotel occupancy was barely above 36 percent in August, largely due to the absence of the business community in the peak summer month. The poor result in Madrid was also compounded by a decline in the number of overnight stays being made by foreign tourists.

The HotStats report said that the month of August had seen a downturn in national tourism although in some destinations, an increase in international demand had made up for it preventing significant losses.

Palma and Barcelona came out tops as a tourist destination in August with hotel occupancy and profits well above those registered in cities such as Madrid and Seville which depend less on seasonal tourism and more on the business community
In Palma, the increase in prices didn't affect occupancy levels in August and although over the course of a year a decline of 4 percent has been registered, the rise in hotel prices has enabled profitability to increase by 2.3 percent.

Profits for Palma
Although national tourism has declined significantly, the 6 percent increase in international tourism has shown up positively in reservations in high class hotels in the city of Palma. The “HotStats” report shows that rooms in top hotel categories made average gross profits of 110 euros, the highest of all city destinations in the survey. Albert Grau, Director of Magma TRI Hospitality Consulting said: “The corporate sector disappears in August and city destinations depend on leisure tourism.” “Barcelona too is set on an upward trend,” said Grau, confirming that reservations in the city in August were over 90 percent. The figures for the capital of Catalonia were even higher than August last year. In 4-star hotels, occupation levels stood at 93 percent, Grau said.

At the other end of the scale, Madrid is the city which suffered most in August, partly because of the absence of the business community during the holiday months, but also because of the downturn in foreign tourists visiting the city. Hotel reservations being made by foreign tourists slumped by 18% this August compared to the same month in 2011.

Seville reported a similar situation in hotel bookings for the month of August where not even international visitors proved sufficient to rescue the city's hotel sector from poor profitability. The downturn in national tourism (-8.2% less overnight stays than a year ago) combined with practically zero growth in international demand (0.8% more overnight stays) to make August a bad month for Seville.