Tourists in Palma. | JORDI NICOLAU

Exceltur, the alliance for tourism excellence, believes that forecasts for the summer season in Spain as a whole are “moderately optimistic”. The Exceltur president, Jose Luis Zoreda, said on Thursday that tourist numbers will be similar to those in 2018. The organisation’s latest report indicates that 41% of businesses surveyed expect sales to increase and that 45% anticipate increased profits.

Zoreda noted, however, that there are differences in terms of tourist demand - both the national markets and the destinations. Growth this year is owing much to domestic tourism and interior/city tourism.

Up to May there was a general 2.7% decrease in tourism for traditional sun and beach destinations, with the negative effects felt in the Balearics and the Canaries in particular and because of declines in German and Scandinavian tourist numbers.

The decrease in reservations for the Balearics, according to the Exceltur report, is running at 2.3%. For the Canaries, it is double this. The alliance is concerned about a “competitive decline” of some sun and beach destinations and about a negative gap between hotel revenues and the amounts that have been invested over recent years.

There are, in Exceltur’s view, ten key issues which need to be addressed with urgency. One of these requires far greater priority being given to tourism at institutional level (governments). All regional governments and certain town halls need to have a common involvement in establishing this priority. Exceltur is also advocating policies that facilitate investment in destinations’ quality and diversification of tourist product.