This summer, tourism in Spain has slowed down. According to him lobby tourist Exceltur, which includes hotels, travel agencies and transport companies, tourism activity grew by 1.1% in the third quarter, compared to 4.2% registered last summer. The slight growth is due rather to the increase in spending than to the influx of international tourists, that has fallen, and has not been fully compensated by the slight increase in national tourism. In these circumstances of deceleration and at a time when the Government negotiates budgets, Exceltur has charged strongly against the tax increases prepared by the Government: the tax on companies, diesel and the dividends that companies achieve for the profits of their subsidiaries abroad.
"In this situation [de desaceleración y transformación del sector turístico español], and before the negotiation of budgets [que se inicia estos días tras el pacto alcanzado entre el Gobierno y Podemos], we believe that it is not easy to redistribute wealth if it is not created before, "said the vice president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, claiming that the tourism sector" deserves more than preferential treatment "in the budgets and policies that are carried out with them so that it remains an economic locomotive.
Thus, the organization claims to avoid or minimize "taxes or dissuasive charges" and cites some. In the first place, that of companies, which the Government intends to raise so that companies pay 15% cash on the tax base. The sector understands that this increase can cause potential investors to choose other countries.
It also mentions the government's intention to tax 5% of the income of the companies obtained from the profits of its subsidiaries abroad, income that is currently 100% exempt. According to Zoreda, it would be "going against one of the mattresses of the sector, with which many companies have been able to weather the crisis" and that has allowed them to invest in Spain.
Finally, Exceltur also criticizes the rise in the diesel tax planned by the Government. Understands that applying this increase would penalize road travel, which is mainly fueled by domestic tourism, and car rental companies.
Excelur's demands come after a summer in which tourism activity has grown by just 1.1%, compared to rates above 5% in the last five years due to the instability of Mediterranean destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, which this summer they have already recovered the figures they presented in 2014. This recovery is reflected, mainly, in the fall of traditional sun and beach destinations in Spain, such as the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands.
The growth of tourist GDP is supported, according to Exceltur, in a slight increase in tourist spending (+ 0.7%), since foreign demand has fallen (9.1% overnight stays and 3.4% the number of tourists) and the slight increase in Spanish demand (a 1.1% increase in overnight stays) has not been able to compensate for this. Thus, Exceltur expects the tourist GDP to end the year with a growth of 2%, six tenths below the Government's forecasts for the general GDP. It's the second time that the lobby tourism corrected its forecasts for the end of this year, after doing so in July.
In addition to the recovery of other Mediterranean destinations, Exceltur mentions other ballasts for the sector this summer as the heat wave that affected the center and north of Europe in the month of July, which caused many tourists to stay in their countries; the rise in oil prices and their transfer to road trips (especially in national tourism); the slowdown in Spanish consumption and, in particular, the political instability in Catalonia, which is no longer confined to the city of Barcelona "but has been extended to other more vacation destinations such as the Costa Brava, Salou, etc, "Zoreda said, noting the altercations by the withdrawal of crosses and ties on the beaches.
In any case, employment, measured in affiliations to social security, has maintained an inertia similar to that of the rest of the economy and has grown by 3.2% with respect to the same period of the previous year. In this area, airlines, travel agencies and leisure companies have maintained a behavior above average. The growth has been less in the restoration and accommodation.