Paul Thomen

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Travel and Tourism Market in Spain to 2017

The report “Travel and Tourism in Spain to 2017” by Timetric is now available at Contact with report name in subject line and your contact details to purchase this report or get your questions answered.

During the review period, tourist volumes in Spain decreased due to the country’s worsening economic conditions, and declining price competitiveness of coastal tourism. The country’s inbound tourist volume expanded marginally at a CAGR of 0.22% during the review period (2008−2012) and is expected to record a forecast-period (2013−2017) CAGR of 0.84%. However, government expenditure on tourism was relatively low at EUR160.0 billion, representing 15.2% of total GDP in 2012, in comparison with neighboring countries such as France, which spent EUR197.6 billion. This may have an adverse impact on the travel and tourism sector in the country.

Given the current global growth prospects and weak domestic demand, Timetric expects the Spanish economy to contract by 1.5% in 2013 before recording positive growth of 0.8% in 2014. The weak labor market conditions are expected to directly affect personal income and consumer purchasing power in 2013. However, the economy is expected to improve in 2014 as the recently presented 2014 budget eases some of the austerity measures with the projected recovery in sight.

At the end of June 2013, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism launched Spain’s new official tourism website: The site is now more an interactive tool, making it easier for tourists to use and navigate. Tourists can also book transport and lodging through the site, making it a key sales channel for Spanish tourism providers.

Football is a major attraction in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville, which have the largest stadiums in the country. The largest is the Camp Nou in Barcelona, with a capacity of over 99,000. Football enthusiasts frequently travel to Spain to see some of the world’s most celebrated teams play, and interest in football is constantly expanding. Five new large stadiums, with estimated capacities ranging between 32,000 and 75,000, will be built and opened by 2016 in Madrid, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism launched a campaign to promote domestic tourism in 2013. The campaign featured the slogan: “Spain, the destination that’s part of you.” This initiative was taken to stimulate domestic tourist demand and encourage people to take advantage of Spain’s diverse tourism offerings.

The Balearic Islands were the leading tourist destination in June 2013 with 1.7 million tourists visiting the region, 9% more than the previous year. The second-most-popular destination was Catalonia with 1.6 million tourists, up by 6.7%. Andalusia was visited by 817,221 inbound tourists which represents an annual growth of 2.5%.

For leisure tourism, the popular destinations for outbound Spanish tourists in 2011 were the UK, Italy, Germany and France. Most tourists visited these destinations on low-cost flights. Cruises also had a crucial role in 2011, and many outbound Spanish tourists aim to take at least one cruise in their lifetime.

International Airlines Group is positioning its budget carrier Vueling to grow in Spain with an order for 220 Airbus A320 medium-haul aircraft. In this up to 120 new aircraft will enable Vueling to continue its expansion and replace some of its older fleet by 2020. IAG also ordered 62 A320neo, a more fuel-efficient version set to come out in 2015, which could be used by British Airways, Iberia or Vueling.

Hotels in Andalucía and the Canary Islands have seen a significant rise in tourist arrivals and expenditure; Valencia recorded the strongest growth of 28%. In contrast, Madrid recorded a decrease in both tourist arrivals and expenditure in 2012, with a total of 3.4 million foreign arrivals.

A significant number of new electric rental cars are expected to be introduced in Spain in 2013, as a result of rising consumer price sensitivity and attempts by rental companies to broaden their services. The number of diesel- and petrol-powered cars will gradually decline over the coming years in favor of electric cars.

There is huge potential for growth in the Spanish travel intermediaries industry due to the country’s improving economy, increasing levels of leisure and business travel, and rapid development of e-commerce. The industry is expected to record lower prices for travel products, as travel intermediaries reduce their prices to compete with the large number of new entrants that are expected to enter the country over the forecast period.

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