Despite the bad start of the year and the poor expectations based on flight bookings, the beginning of the high season (July to September) anticipates a record year in hotel occupancy and income thanks to the foreign tourism.
A key for this change to happen is the strength of our three big source markets (the United Kingdom, Germany and France) which bring 55% of the foreign tourism.
The first data handled by entrepreneurs indicate unprecedented occupancy rates since the start of the financial crisis. The expected rates would be over 80% in August in five out of the 6 major touristic regions (Catalonia, Canaries, Balearics, Andalusia and the Valencia autonomous region).
If this trend is consolidated in September the summer might reach 22 million foreign tourists with expenditures over 23,000 million. Both would be record figures.
The emerging markets like Russia or the Nordic Countries have been important too. Specially the Russian market which increased by 30% in 2012 and a similar increase is expected for this year.
Egypt and low season in the Canaries
As it already happened in 2011, the current conflicts in Egypt are going to have a positive impact in Spain. Egypt gets over 2 million tourists from Russia every year, many of them in the low season. Due to the ongoing problems there, a lot of cancellations from Russian tourists have been made. Consequently, the Spanish Government and entrepreneurs have gone improving the expectations. Even, some of them say there is a chance to beat the maximum of 58.7 million tourists that came to Spain in 2007.
The good figures on the foreign tourism are compensating the extremely poor statistics on the domestic tourism. For example, the occupancy rates in Madrid are below 60% in July and 40% in August.
A great summer for Spain
Catalonia: Is the first destination in Spain for the foreign tourism. The occupancy rates are nearly 90% in July.
Madrid: On the contrary, Madrid lost tourists by 4.8% between January and June. Forecasts for July and August are still bad expecting drops by over 10%.
Andalusia: The only data available is for Costa del Sol (Málaga), Cádiz and Almería. All three improve the figures from last year. The only explanation for this is the good behaviour of the international market and the bad numbers for the domestic tourism. The highest occupancy is in Cádiz with 82% in August and 84% in July.
Canaries: Thanks to the diversification of the source markets the occupancy rates are good. Specially in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, with rates over 80%. The cities at the south of Fuerteventura have the best numbers, with 98% of the available beds booked.