A new industry study found that revenue from tourism companies in Spain is expected to grow by 4.7 percent over the totals registered in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down international travel.
According to Reuters.com, industry group Exceltur found that Spain’s hotels, resorts, transport companies, car rentals and entertainment businesses are experiencing a surge in 2023 bookings that would help the country outpace its tourism numbers for 2019.
“The picture is hopeful,” Exceltur Vice President Jose Luis Zoreda said. “It seems that the desire to travel has prevailed and some firms are telling us that consumers would rather stop buying a shirt or an appliance than stop traveling.”
Tourism numbers remained 2.1 percent below 2019 levels in 2022 despite the travel industry’s comeback. While revenue for hotels was up seven percent from pre-pandemic totals, transport companies were still down five percent compared to 2019.
Inflation, increased fuel costs and wage increases all impacted the bottom line for tourism companies in Spain, but the average prices increased by 6.6 percent in 2022. If growth reaches projected totals, tourism would represent around 12.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
In addition, Exceltur found that Central European and Mexican travelers helped boost the Spanish economy last year, and tourism officials are betting on a resurgence of visitors from the United States and the United Kingdom in 2023.
Expected to launch in January, Spain announced a new visa scheme that will enable non-nationals hailing from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for foreign employers to live in the country without the need to procure a full work visa.