BERLIN, GERMANY – Winter hotel bookings in Spain have surpassed 2019 numbers for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to data sourced from SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index. On February 21, 2022, Spanish hotel booking volumes measured 107.56% of those recorded during the same period in 2019.
The figure comes as a result of strong growth in Spain’s hotel bookings over recent weeks, with hotel booking numbers up from only 73.16% of 2019 levels on December 23, 2021. The growth demonstrates the strength of the Spanish hotel industry’s quick recovery, both from the disruption caused by the Omicron COVID-19 variant in December and ongoing disruptions over the past year. During this same period last year, Spain’s hotel bookings were at just 26.74% of numbers for the same period in 2019, emphasising the sector’s resilience over the past 12 months.
International travellers remain a major contributor
Significantly, a majority of hotel bookings (52.84%) so far in February have come from international bookers—up from 44.56% at the end of last year—and surpassing the proportion of international guests recorded in January 2020 (48.43%) and February 2020 (45.72%), before the global travel downturn.
Of all bookings made with Spanish hotels during the past two weeks, 18.62% are due to arrive before the end of February, 29.9% in March, 18.14% in April—highlighting the importance of the Easter holidays—9.9% in May, and 21.48% over the summer. Unsurprisingly, international guests are still booking ahead more than their domestic counterparts, with overseas visitors increasingly making up the majority of hotel guests due to arrive in the coming months, including March (61.02%), April (62.84%) and May (74.49%), as well as during the summer months.
Sara Padrosa, Country Manager for Spain at SiteMinder, says: “The data reflects both Spain’s strength as a winter destination and a growing shift away from the last-minute bookings we’ve seen over the past two years. Travellers are clearly feeling a renewed sense of security after a prolonged period of shortened guest horizons in the face of the ongoing threat of short-notice travel restrictions.”
Spain continues to be a leading driver of the regional hotel booking recovery
Spain’s latest figures compare favourably to the average for hotel bookings globally, which sit at 83.05% of booking volumes during this same period three years prior. When compared to 2019, the country’s hotel bookings also register a stronger performance than southern European destinations such as Italy (69.61%) and Malta (64.96%), as well as other major northern European markets such as France (96.46%), the UK (91.46%) and Germany (65.14%).
The geographical distribution of the bookings indicates the diversification of Spain’s travel offerings, including urban, beach and rural travel, with hotels in Barcelona recording 118.77% of 2019 numbers, while in Seville the figure is 105.08%, in Malaga 101.92%, in Valencia 101.49%, and 93.44% in Madrid.
Says Padrosa, “This positive news is further confirmation that the recovery of Spain’s hotel industry is not limited to one particular season or destination, but rather that it has ongoing resilience, having stayed strong since last summer with a continual flow of international visitors.
“As SiteMinder’s research has shown, the guests who hotels are welcoming today are not the same as two years ago. They have higher standards and are accustomed to the integrated, nimble and flexible world of digitally-enabled commerce. To meet these expectations, accommodation providers would benefit from using the latest technology to design and implement holistic hotel commerce strategies, allowing them to offer a consistent customer experience throughout the guest journey, forged by effectively using consumer data to design personalised marketing and products. This also presents ample opportunities for hoteliers to increase revenue, direct bookings, guest monetisation, third-party brand advocacy and loyalty. Those accommodation providers that can embody and surpass the expectations of the evolved hotel guest, will be the ones who can corner the market in this period of travel resurgence.”
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SiteMinder Limited (ASX:SDR) is the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, ranked among technology pioneers for opening up every hotel’s access to online commerce. It’s this central role that has earned SiteMinder the trust of tens of thousands of hotels, across 150 countries, to sell, market, manage and grow their business. The global company, headquartered in Sydney with offices in Bangkok, Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila, generated more than 100 million reservations worth over US$35 billion in revenue for hotels in the last year prior to the start of the pandemic.