“Spain is a particularly interesting country to invest in tourism”

 Dialogue of SPAIN INVESTORS DAY with the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés Verelst 

  • “Bookings in some destinations in the Balearic or Canary Islands are higher than before the pandemic.” 
  • “In 2021, 3,180 million euros were invested in the Spanish hotel sector.” 
  • “The sector has fully recovered the employment it had in 2019 and we are on track to recover tourism GDP in 2022.” 
  • “Spain currently has more luxury hotels than Italy or France” 
  • “Sustainability has become an active element of competitiveness, with more than €1.858 million of European funds dedicated to transforming the tourism model towards the sustainability of its destinations.” 
  • “Spain is not going to allow excess tourism and we need to carry out a change of model.” 

Madrid, 15 June 2022.- The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés Verelst, spoke today at the Dialogue of the Spain Investors Day: “Predictions and challenges for the future of the tourism sector” and stressed that “tourism in Spain has had the capacity to withstand the two worst years of its history, achieving in turn, the consolidation of the profitability model and to increase the added value of the supply.”  

Now – he pointed out – we are on a particularly interesting path in terms of the increase in tourism spending, since the average spending per traveller has increased from 987 euros to 1,131 euros”. The Secretary offered other interesting data such as that air capacities between June and August are around 94% compared to 2019 and that the level of reservations currently hovers around 80%. “A forecast”, he said, “that may be exceeded by last-minute reservations, but that will depend on demand in the face of the rise in prices.” He noted as the most popular destinations Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and some destinations in the Canary Islands “with reservations that are already above the pre-pandemic.” 

Fernando Valdés Verelst stressed that Spain remains a particularly interesting country for investors and highlighted that 2021 was the third year in history with the largest investment in the hotel sector, with 3.18 billion euros in operations. The Secretary of State has made it important that the investment funds – especially the institutional ones – are beginning to incorporate hotel experts who recommend us and who are doing us a lot of good.” 

Fernando Valdés also said that “what confirms the consolidation of this increasingly robust model are the operations carried out in the hotel sector in 2021, which had items diversified to 50% between holiday and urban tourism.” He also pointed out that “Premium tourism has increased significantly, to the point that “Spain currently has more luxury hotels than Italy or France.” All this highlights the diversification of Spanish tourism, which is a sign of identity and leadership, and which has already fully recovered employment since 2019, and is on track to recover tourism GDP by 2022.” 

To this end, he said, “the government has launched investments such as the 500 million earmarked for the conservation of cultural heritage” and is also betting, along with the model of sun and beach, on nature tourism, after that between 2016 and 2019 the number of tourists who choose Spain, whose main motivation is to visit its natural areas, has grown by 14% and its spending by 81%.” Very important, said the Secretary of State, is the investment they are making in digitization: 400 million euros to improve the business models of tourism companies and equip them with tools such as big data, positioning on social networks and cybersecurity. He also referred to the EUR 53 million intended for the training of workers in the sector and the EUR 220 million of European funds allocated for energy efficiency. Along these lines, he wanted to make it clear that “sustainability has become an active element of competitiveness, with more than €1.858 million of European funds dedicated to transforming the tourism model towards sustainability.” And he said: “Spain wants to have a portfolio of sustainable destinations that give us a clear leadership.” 

The Secretary of State for Tourism concluded the event “Dialogue of Spain Investors Day” by assuring that “Spain will not allow excess tourism” and explained that a change of model is needed. As an example, he referred to Magaluf (Mallorca), where the government has destined 4 million euros of European funds with the aim of supporting the destination to find alternatives to the “offerings of excesses” of this city, recovering the coastline and its habitability, all in agreement with the local government. 

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