The tourism industry, in an advantageous position
Tourism ended this year’s summer season in great shape with international tourist arrivals coming very close to the records set in 2019, a year that was extremely positive for the industry. Domestic tourism has also continued to post very good figures.
- Tourism ended this year’s summer season in great shape with international tourist arrivals coming very close to the records set in 2019, a year that was extremely positive for the industry. Domestic tourism has also continued to post very good figures. However, the macroeconomic scenario represents a risk for the trend in tourism activity over the coming quarters. Widespread high inflation is leading to a loss of purchasing power for European consumers, while high energy prices and tougher macro-financial conditions are putting pressure on much of the EU’s businesses.
- Nevertheless, our analysis of the tourism industry’s situation leads us to predict a relatively positive outlook for 2023. The sector is starting from an advantageous position due to its low exposure to energy costs (only 3% of its income is used to cover them). Prices have also been raised in 2022 in response to the strong demand, enabling businesses to defend their margins and prepare themselves for increasingly higher costs in 2023. On the other hand, tourism demand is resilient and still has some room for growth compared with the volumes posted in 2022. For all these reasons, our 2023 forecast predicts growth in tourism business. Specifically, we expect tourism GDP to go 2.3% higher than its level in 2019, after closing 2022 at 1.8% below.
- This report also contains an analysis of the hospitality sector using CaixaBank’s internal data. According to official figures, hospitality turnover has picked up strongly during 2022. However, the aggregate numbers could be hiding what is really going on in some areas of the hospitality sector, which tends to be extremely diverse. Thanks to the sample of hospitality businesses with a CaixaBank POS terminal, we have been able to assess the sector’s speed of recovery in 2022, quantifying the proportion of businesses that continue to encounter difficulties and determining what characterises them. We have also been able to confirm that the vast majority of the hospitality sector has seen a very positive trend this year.
- Lastly, we also pay particular attention to understanding the episode of air transport saturation experienced at northern European airports during the summer months. In light of our analysis, we estimate that the recovery in EU tourist arrivals was limited last summer, particular in the case of British, German and Dutch tourists. However, we expect the factors causing this saturation to adjust by 2023, providing an additional lever for growth in Spain’s tourism industry.