The Government fears that price increases in tourism will retract foreign demand for the summer

Antonio Ramirez CerezoCONTINUEMadrid Updated: 06/15/2022 1:14 p.m.

The Government hopes that the summer will be the starting point for the total recovery of tourism, but it already fears that inflation could end up reducing demand for the high season of the sector. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, has assured this Wednesday that the levels of reserves for the summer season are already at 80% of the level of 2019, «but we will have to see if the demand accepts the price increase, as well as how It will affect the spending capacity. During his intervention in the Spain Investors Day dialogues organized by Estudio de Comunicación, Valdés has advanced that there are already destinations where reservations are above pre-pandemic levels, as is the case of Ibiza.

So the Government expects a "positive" summer, but with an eye on how national and foreign tourists can react to inflation. "We will see if demand is going to stop being so flexible and if it corrects us from the path of recovery," explained the Secretary of State for Tourism. In any case, he estimates that tourism GDP will exceed 80% of that registered in 2019. Something that will be helped by the growth in tourist spending "even discounting inflation."

Also the ability of Spain to become a refuge destination for the war in Ukraine. Valdés acknowledged that this effect "is going to help us because we are a peripheral destination outside the Central European space, but he would not base the recovery on this factor." Yes, more due to the return of British tourists, our main source market "whose intensity is recovering." And he assured that the lack of Russian tourists this summer will not have greater consequences than in some destinations such as the Costa Dorada, "where we are already working to make up for that loss with other markets."

Although Valdés celebrates the return of the traveler from the United Kingdom, he also attacked "excess tourism" practiced by some of the visitors from that country. "He is not welcome. It is not a format that we want to bet on and we are not going to harm our hallmark, "said the Secretary of State. «We must accompany the sector to a change of model and we are working on it. In Magaluf, four million euros have been invested to improve the habitability of the tourist space in that and expel certain offers that operate in that city, but it will not be easy »explained Valdés.

On the other hand, in the midst of a historical deficit of workers in the tourism sector, Valdés assures that Spain "is better positioned than other competing destinations." In addition, he recalled that tourism has recovered all of the 2,500,000 employees that were in the sector in 2019. Although he assures that the lack of workers in tourism exists and is a "global challenge". In the short term, they set their sights on the new Vocational Training Act and on incorporating the largest possible number of young people into companies in the sector as soon as they complete their training.

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