Tourists in Palma. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Exceltur, the alliance for touristic excellence, members of which are leading travel and tourism concerns in Spain, has issued its 2015 report into tourist socioeconomic profitability, by which is meant growth in financial performance and employment.

The report identifies city destinations as having led the way in increasing this profitability, with an overall rise of 11.5% in respect of accommodation revenue and a 5.4% increase in employment, much of this attributable to tourist businesses. The rise in revenue has been brought about by two factors - increased occupancy and higher prices (up by almost 5% on average). As such, turnover in the city hotel sector - in general - was back to a level pre-crisis, even though 37 of 53 cities considered in the report registered turnover lower than in 2008.

Heading the list was Barcelona where the socioeconomic profitability was reflected by an average increase of more than 13% in hotels' RevPAR ratios (average revenue per available room). This equated to 91 euros and placed Barcelona ahead of San Sebastian, Cadiz and, in fourth spot, Palma, where the rise was also greater than 13% but lower in average terms - only 61 euros.

Of destinations recognised as the principal providers of sun-and-beach holidays, the profitability increased, with revenue up almost nine per cent and employment by five per cent. Exceltur puts this performance down to the instability in competitor destinations as well as to a favourable economic climate that prompted travel and even to the weather, which enabled a lengthening of the season. In addition, it draws attention to redevelopment that has occurred, especially the Balearics and Ibiza in particular: the Balearic Islands were the national leaders in terms of improved socioeconomic indicators last year.

Exceltur says that destinations where there have been commitments to improving regulated accommodation through higher category hotels, to investment in diversification and to higher quality restaurants, shops and leisure have been the ones that have reaped the greatest benefits. In this regard it identifies two resorts in Ibiza leading the way in terms of RevPAR performance: Ibiza Town and Sant Josep de sa Talaia. Though the latter of these turned in the best performance, it didn't register the highest percentage rises in either RevPAR or employment growth in the Balearics. These were recorded by Santanyi with a 39% increase in RevPAR and Capdepera, where employment growth was almost 20%.