According to recent industry research, Spain’s tourist sector will generate 4.7 percent more revenue in 20203 than it did in 2019, when the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of overseas travel.
Reuters.com reports that industry group Exceltur has noted an increase in bookings for 2023 for Spanish hotels, resorts, transportation providers, car rentals and entertainment companies. This would surpass the country’s tourism figures 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.”
Despite the travel industry’s recovery, tourism numbers in 2022 were still 2.1 percent below 2019 levels. While hotel income increased by 7% from pre-pandemic levels, transportation businesses nonetheless saw a 5% decline compared to 2019.
Spanish tourism companies’ profits have been hurt by inflation, rising gasoline prices, and wage increases, yet average prices rose 6.6 percent in 2022. The travel and tourism sector would account for about 12.2 percent of the country’s GDP if growth continues at projected rates.
The Spanish government is also betting on a boost in American and British tourists in 2023, after Exceltur found that Central European and Mexican visitors helped the country’s economy last year.
Spain unveiled a new visa program that will permit non-citizens from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for foreign businesses to live in the nation without having to obtain a work visa. The program is set to debut in January.