Tourism spending in Spain remains at the level of the 90s – CVBJ
11/20/2021 at 08:27 CET
Spain was emerging from a historic streak of tourist records when the pandemic brought the sector to a complete standstill. The country has accumulated more than five years of historic maximum arrivals of foreign tourists and also nearly a decade of record tourism revenue, but mobility restrictions to fight Covid caused a debacle from which the industry is still recovering.
The economic recovery is underway, but in the case of the tourism sector – the country’s traditional anti-crisis shield – it’s still half-gas. Tourism relies on the strength of demand from Spanish customers to boost its activity, but the arrivals of foreign tourists and the business linked to these foreign travelers are still very far from the precovid levels: So much so that tourism revenues in our economy – what foreign tourists who come actually spend in the country – will close this year at the level of the 90s.
Until 2019, just before the pandemic, Spain had nine consecutive years of continuous records of the country’s tourism revenue. In 2019, a historic maximum of 71,202 million euros in tourism revenue was recorded, according to the records of Bank of Spain. Last year, with much of the year being a tourist stop and with restrictions on international travel, those revenues fell to just 16,177 million, with a collapse of over 77% and with the figure on lowest in nearly three decades (more precisely, since 1993).
Demand from foreign tourists improved this year with the lifting of the travel restrictions intra-European, but is not yet taking off strongly. The result is that Spain will close with tourism revenues 60% lower than the 2018 record, with just under € 28,500 million, according to the estimates it manages. Exceltur (a sector lobby that brings together some thirty of the country’s largest tourism companies, such as Meliá, Iberia, NH Hotels, Riu, Amadeus or Renfe).
A record with which Spain will derive 76% revenue from black 2020, but this will keep the country at the income levels of the 1990s, with a volume similar to that recorded between 1998 and 1999. [Ver gráfico].
What the tourist spends compared to what Spain enters
The real income from tourism is what actually goes to Spain’s economy, the expenses that foreign visitors make while in the country. Tourism income is measured by the Bank of Spain in the balance of payments and for accounting purposes it has a similar impact on the country’s exports.
The National Institute of Statistics (INE) He has another account for the expenses of foreign tourists -the Egatur survey-, but with it he calculates everything that travelers spend on their trip. Everything, not only during your stay here, but also before arriving in companies in your home country, the figure is therefore always higher than that of the Bank of Spain including costs that do not really accrue to the Spanish economy. Every year there is a $ 1 billion difference between what tourists spend (or what they say they spend, as this is a survey) and what the Spanish economy actually earns.
According to the latest statements available from the Bank of Spain, between January and August of this year, tourism revenues reached 14,300 million euros, 6.7% more than last year (13,400 million) and 71% less than in 2019 (49,600 million). For the same period, the National Institute of Statistics calculated that spending by foreign tourists already rose to nearly 16,900 million, practically on par with last year’s figure (16,779 million) and 73% below of the 2019 level (63,900 million).