Speaking at a conference on profitability in the tourist industry at a hotel in Palma, Exceltur President Sebastian Escarrer said that tourism is the only economic activity in the country which is creating employment. There is a direct link between tourist activity and levels of employment, said Escarrer. The industry should be seen as the great hope of the next Spanish government of eliminating the scourge of unemployment. Exceltur's study of profitability in tourism and the employment it has generated this year was based on resorts in 105 municipalities around the country which account for 70 percent of national tourism. Research showed that the income per available room (RevPAR) has risen by 10 percent in holiday destinations this year to an average of 60.2 euros, and by 8.2 percent at accommodation in urban locations.
Escarrer claimed that the improved profitability this year was more due to occupancy levels than it was to any price increases.
He said that Spain had benefited greatly from the so-called Arab Spring in which tourists who might otherwise have spent on a holiday to Egypt or Tunisia had opted for Spain to escape the political turmoil in North Africa.
José Luis Zoreda, the Vice-President of Exceltur said that the Balearic and Canary Islands were the two regions of the country which had profited outstandingly this season.
He highlighted the success of the municipality of Ibiza where employment in the tourist industry had grown by 17.3 percent in the third quarter and the RevPAR by 24.6%. Zoreda said that efforts to spruce up the municipality and give it a new image had obviously paid dividends. Following on down the list of the most profitable municipalities, came Muro on Majorca where employment was up by 13.8% and RevPAR by 6.7%, and Capdepera with employment and income per room up by 9.6 and 12.5 percent respectively.
Zoreda concluded that around the country, it had become clear that the resorts which gained the least in terms of profit and employment were those which had made no effort to upgrade their services or improve their fading attractions.
He cited resorts including Llucmajor and Manacor as being very much in need of a facelift and investment.