Neither the end of the state of alarm nor the opening of borders made tourism see the light in July. Hotel overnight stays plummeted 73.4%, to 11.5 million, according to the INE. In the same month of 2019, more than 43 million stays were registered. And, contrary to usual, domestic travelers pulled from the low demand that there was: the 64.6% of the hotel nights were in charge of the Spanish tourism in the absence of foreigners.
Travelers who checked in Spain they were mainly national. There were in total about 4.3 million, of which 3.2 million were from our own territory. Foreign visitors are conspicuous by their absence in the most atypical summer season weighed down by the Covid-19 crisis. In July 2019 there were almost four times as many travelers than now.
«The figures are very bad, the worst in history in the tourism sector. They are a tragedy for the sector, ”explains Ramón Estalella, Cehat’s secretary general. The president of the Tourism Board, Juan Molas, agrees with this diagnosis and warns of the “tremendous decline” in the sector, even after the optimism that seemed to exist as of June. In his opinion, the restrictions of other countries to travel to Spain and now the outbreaks of the disease have shattered any hope of saving the summer. They calculate that the losses for tourism could reach 120,000 million by the end of the year if the problem is not solved. At this point in 2019, more than 192 million overnight stays were accumulated in the annual calculation; this 2020 barely exceed 55.6 million.
Molas does not hesitate to regret that if the pandemic continues to spread again and the restrictions of other countries on traveling to Spain (the United Kingdom and Germany, mainly) are not eliminated, many tourist companies will be left by the wayside. Not only hotels, but also restaurants, bars, shops, etc. All of them that depend on foreign arrivals, without forgetting that tourism represents 12.5% of Spanish GDP.
A good account of the fact that the sensations are not ideal are given by the hotels that have remained open. Something more than 12,068 establishments could be available to the public, 29.5% less year-on-year, which represent 62.5% of the hotel directory. In terms of available rooms, only 52.7% of the total were available, being a progressive downwards depending on the hotel category: the more stars, the fewer rooms available.
Also, prices have also fallen. And profitability. The hotels average daily billing for each occupied room was 87.6 euros, which represents a decrease of 15.1% compared to the same month in 2019. «The confidence of the national market has been important, until now there has been sprouts and there is again some nervousness and prevention», Says Molas. The reaction, according to account, has been to reduce the hotel plant open to the public. Without demand, the establishments close.
Against this background, the month of August is positioned as a period more black than white. This is stated by Estalella, from Cehat, who predicts that the statistics that this month “will be even worse” given the materialization of foreign vetoes.