Economic crash prompted Spanish hotel rates slump

Economic crash prompted Spanish hotel rates slump

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Wholesale hotel rates in Spain have slumped by an average of 10% over the past two years, latest research shows.

JacTravel reported prices coming down across Spanish cities and across star ratings in Spain from 2012 to 2013.

The deepest cut of 28% came from five-star properties in Madrid, according to the wholesaler’s booking data released ahead of trade show Fitur in the Spanish capital which starts today (Wednesday).

The company’s contract manager in Madrid Rita Buffa said: “If you walk down Gran Via, the main street in Madrid, you can find rates for hotel rooms that are more attractive than I have seen in many years.

“The reason for the decline in hotel rates is the difficult economic situation. Fewer Spaniards are travelling domestically, so there is less demand for accommodation and hotels have had to reduce rates to secure business in a very competitive market.”

Some long-established hotels have responded by closing. Factors that have further handicapped the city’s tourism performance include high airport taxes and a lack of international promotion.

Barcelona has been more resilient due to its strength as a conference and cruise destination, with many notable tourist attractions, good flight connections and relatively low airport taxes.

JacTravel senior contract manager for the city, Mabel Ariu, said: “Barcelona has also drawn strength from its long-term strategy of investing in tourism, constantly innovating its offer for tourists and promoting itself abroad.

“It is now a mature international destination with something for everyone – art, beach, sightseeing, shopping, nightlife, hotels for all budgets and even skiing in the Pyrenees.”

JacTravel increased its contracting team in Spain last year to negotiate exclusive deals with selected hotels for distribution to the travel trade.

This has resulted in the comany increasing its market share by growing its number of bookings in Madrid and Barcelona collectively by 23% in 2013 and by 77% at the start of 2014, compared to the same period last year.

Company president and chief commercial officer Mario Bodini said: “The tough times have certainly made the Spanish hotel market more competitive and where hotels are aggressive with promotional offers they are filling their rooms.

“The good news for the travel industry is that many Spanish hotels are now exceptional value so this is an excellent moment to recommend going to Spain.”

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