A new stage for Spain’s tourism industry

So far in 2023, the tourism industry has been a source of good news for the Spanish economy.

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August 3rd, 2023
Ala de avión. Photo by Social Cut on Unsplash
  • So far in 2023, the tourism industry has been a source of good news for the Spanish economy. Having managed to regain the longed-for pre-pandemic figures last year, there was an uncertain start to 2023 due to the macroeconomic scenario of our main inbound markets. However, our examination of tourism indicators in the first article of this Report provides a very positive view of the sector’s performance, which is showing great signs of resilience. Demand remains firm in spite of the inflationary environment and the sector is handling the weakness observed in some of its traditional inbound markets such as the UK, attracting others with greater potential, for instance the US and Latin America. As a result, we’ve seen surprisingly positive growth in the first half of the year, both in volume and revenue.
  • Looking ahead, the second half of 2023 will be affected by the summer months, for which we expect particularly good figures, as suggested by Google search data, albeit with one exception: the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, with regards to the end of this year and early 2024, we expect the sector’s performance to dip slightly and become less buoyant. Currently, several factors can be observed that will cool down the sector’s growth rate and are likely to become more evident as we approach Q4 2023. In particular, these are the tightening of the macro-financial environment, greater competition from Turkey for Spain’s market share and the upturn in long-haul travel by Europeans, including Spaniards. Taking all this into account, we expect tourism-related GDP in 2023 to continue recording very positive figures, up by 6.5% per year and thereby exceeding the levels of 2019, mainly thanks to the good inertia created in the first half of the year and a positive summer. However, we estimate this growth will moderate considerably in 2024, down to 1.5% year-on-year, affected by the headwinds facing the tourism industry in the coming quarters. Nevertheless, Spain’s tourism industry will continue to grow in the next few years thanks to the fact that it’s still managing to find new levers for growth and because it remains one of the most competitive sectors in the world.
  • This Report also examines the inflationary episode occurring in the hotel sector, with particularly steep price rises observed in 2022 and so far in 2023. Our analysis shows that the factors behind these higher prices are not homogeneous in nature but rather due to an accumulation of shocks of differing origins (related to both demand and supply) that have pushed up and continue to push up tourism prices.
  • Finally, this Report also looks at the camping sector, dedicating a specific article to this type of accommodation. This examines the sector’s most recent performance, which has been excellent, far exceeding the figures posted by the other types of accommodation. We expect the positive performance by this sector to expand, thanks to its commitment to modernising its infrastructures and to increasing the professionalism of its management, as well as its focus on a higher quality service and greater reach within the market.