The tourism sector has been the epicentre of a new report by the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT) and PwC. In it they take stock of the data on the evolution of the tourism sector during 2022 and its prospects for winter 2023. The study suggests that hotel occupancy figures in 2023 will exceed those recorded in 2019, in the shadow of a possible recession next year.
The tourism sector: Analysis of the year 2022
Adverse economic conditions in 2022 dampened positive traveller sentiment, particularly as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. On the other hand, the current inflationary context directly affects the tourism sector, which is suffering from a substantial increase in costs. These costs are particularly related to energy and food. The main sending countries (UK, France, Germany and Italy) have significantly cut their growth forecasts, due to the negative effect of the flow of travellers from these destinations in the future.
So far, hotels have been able to adjust room rates without eroding demand, but uncertainty remains as to how long this situation can be sustained if inflation remains, as it seems, above 4% in the coming years.
Forecasts for 2023
Between December 2022 and February 2023, the tourism sector plans to reach higher occupancy levels than before the pandemic. This optimism is supported by:
- The sales pipeline: LKas forecasts for the period December-February are five points higher than the same period last year.
- Tourist interest in Spain: The positive sentiment of travellers towards Spain has recovered in the last quarter (+1.4 points), after having suffered since the beginning of the year as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.
- The reactivation of international tourism: sustained by a contained travel intention during these years, Spain remains 40% above pre-pandemic levels.
The report shows an increase of 0.06 points in the occupancy prospects forecast for winter 2022/23 compared to the data recorded in 2019 by the index. This in turn reflects a recovery of 0.87 points compared to winter 21/22.