Updated Thursday, 7 October 2021 – 11:40
The summer months were higher than the summer of 2019 and the expectations for the whole year are also improved.
The tourist engine has recovered this summer part of the strength it had before the pandemic, mainly thanks to an “unusual national demand”, already 3.4% higher than in summer 2019, with growth of 4.2% in hotel overnight stays. In a normal summer, national tourist consumption is about 22,000 million, but this year there have been about 9,000 million of spending on trips that are usually made abroad that have stayed at home. There are areas, such as Cdiz, with two-digit growth compared to 2019.
As a consequence of this intensity in the upturn in Spanish demand, the sector has revised up tourism GDP for this period (the most important of the year) by eight points compared to what was estimated in June, with a 73% recovery in tourism activity in 2019 (42,000 million euros), but 27% below pre-crisis levels. This summer period (July-September), 15,740 million euros have not been entered compared to the 2019 figures, according to the balance of Exceltur, a tourist lobby that brings together the main companies in the sector.
“It is a promising scenario in terms of the recovery trend, which is being tremendously uneven, asymmetrical and still far from the levels of 2019, “said Jos Luis Zoreda, vice president of Exceltur.
Expectations between now and the remainder of the year are better than anticipated, which has led to revise the expectations for the year three points upwards. 87,000 million will be entered, 56% of what was paid in 2019. “The worst has happened for the sector. It is not to throw the bells to the flight, but we believe that these tendencies of improvement of the recovery are not going to be reversed, “he says.
This upturn in the trend “has been exclusively the result of the unusual upturn in Spanish demand“, said Zoreda, who recalls that foreign demand is still at levels 48% below that of 2019.
Lack of workers
This progressive recovery is very uneven and varies greatly depending on the branches of activity, with some, such as travel agencies or the air sector, still with a drop in billing of 79% or 63%, respectively, compared to the services sector. , which barely yields 6.5%.
In terms of employment, this improvement is also appreciated, since job creation in September was only 13% below than in the same month of 2019. 27% lower if the entire quarter is considered. Yes, there are 169,000 workers who have lost their jobs. The tourist branches still concentrate half of the workers who are in ERTE situation.
However, there has been a paradoxical situation, and it is that, given the uncertainty that the pandemic has created in these activities, many workers have switched to other sectors, which has made tourism entrepreneurs “have difficulty finding trained workers.” “This had not happened to us before the pandemic,” said Scar Perelli, director of studies at Exceltur.
“This has been one of the most difficult quarters to explain, because the realities and the results are enormously different, by regions, subsectors and with companies that weather the storm well and others with greater anguish to survive,” says Zoreda, who has warned that “cost levels continue to rise, so there is no parallelism between improved sales and results, as these costs grow very noticeably”. “The evolution of income has been higher than that of margins due to this increase in costs,” said Perelli.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, volatility and the fact that it is increasingly reserved to the last minute “complicates being able to make forecasts.” Entrepreneurs in the sector improve their expectations for this fourth quarter. In the Canary Islands, it is expected to reach 80% of the activity they had in 2019. The eruption of the island of La Palma “is not having an impact on the evolution of reserves and business expectations.”
“We anticipate in the coming months a process of mergers, concentrations, to gain economies of scale and gain synergies that allow companies to compete,” said Zoreda, who believes that 2022 will start with many fewer companies. In so far this pandemic, 164,000 million euros have been lost.
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