Hoteliers are braced for a busy summer but worried about unfair competition. | Javier Coll


Spanish hoteliers are anticipating that this will prove to be a very good summer with the number of tourists to Spain expected to rise by some three million to 68 million, the domestic market recovering, and prices, the total number of stays and profit all on the up. Though an indicator of performance, the ratio of revenue per available room (RevPar), is increasing, it has yet to reach levels pre-crisis. Nevertheless, the improvement in profits is good news for hotels and for others - banks, employees, suppliers.
Up to and including June, international tourism was up by 4% and this is expected to have risen a further percentage point by the end of August, with various markets in addition to the “big two” of Germany and the UK performing well: among them being the French, Italians, Irish and Polish. The US market is also doing well, thanks in no small part to the dollar-euro exchange rate. Only the Russian market, expected to fall by 38%, is suffering.
Of parts of Spain, there is unevenness. Catalonia, which accounts for 28% of all tourist arrivals, can expect 4% growth, while the Canaries are likely to experience a 2% drop.
Juan Molas, the president of CEHAT (the Spanish hoteliers’ federation), stressed the importance of the recovery of the domestic Spanish market, when yesterday presenting these figures. He also had words about the “unfair competition” that hoteliers continue to face, i.e. that from rental accommodation. “We cannot be complacent and ignore this growing unfair situation.” In stressing that Spain could not bear having a situation such as that in Greece, where 25% of GDP is in the form of the underground economy, he called on regional governments to introduce regulation that would be as standardised as possible for the good of all.