Friday, 29 August 2014

#MADRID #Hotels and #apartments have lost nights in July, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). One of the most important months for the hospitality industry has been atypical, although the number of foreign tourists and domestic has grown over the same period in 2013, again according to official statistics.

Therefore, the INE said that overnight stays in hotels fell by 0.22% in July, which would mean that they have remained constant over the same month of 2013, this decline has been caused by foreign tourists, who have booked 1.77% less nights in the seventh month of the year.

The tourists who live in Spain has increased the number of nights booked by 2.91% in July. This last data recovery consolidates the Spanish travel market, but only for a consolation, as the national nights are half those made by foreigners. That is, tourists who come to spend more on Spain hotels by booking more nights than nationals.

The nights in apartments also fell by 0.8% in July, especially residents in Spain (-2.7%). The major beneficiaries of July were the cottages, which have been growing reserves of nights 12.1% in July. Certainly the recovery of travel by the Spanish, mainstream audiences for rural tourism, is the explanation for this sharp increase after years of mediocre results. Overnight stays of non-residents in houses also rise by 8.1% in the seventh month of the year.

From tourist hotel to rural accommodation?

Why have nights dropped in accommodation booked in a summer month like July? Depending on who you ask, the explanation goes either way.  The INE stresses that in all Spanish accommodation nights (from hotels to holiday cottages) fall 0.7% in July, overall and points that are foreign nights which fell by 2.3% because the Spaniards were up 2.1%. Also, the average stay in all accommodation fell by 2.7% compared to July 2013, which explains the decrease of nights.

The data are striking, since Spain in July reached 8.3 million tourists, up 5.9% from a year ago. However, they have stayed in the same hotels and the nights spent in apartments have declined slightly from 2013 Hoteliers argue that many of the tourists who come to Spain in 2014 have stayed in holiday homes and apartments do not regularized . In fact, the hotel sector has maintained a battle before summer to make the regions governing renting holiday homes, as has happened in Catalonia or Madrid, and in the last weeks of Barcelona residents have protested the dwellings rented out to tourists with incivility.

It is difficult to know if this version reflects reality or is an argument of an interested party. The Frontur statistics compiled by the Institute of Tourism Studies (IET) shows that in July nearly 1.6 million foreign tourists have stayed in homeownership (free or relatives), a heading which is usually associated with tourist flats. In 2013, the same type of housing was used by 1.49 million tourists in the same month, so there is a large transfer of tourists. What it shows is the progressive increase statistical alternative to hotel accommodation as a form of overnight stay of foreign tourists.

The trend shown by the data is that the market of accommodation in Spain is changing and traditional businesses are facing new challenges. They get more tourists, but reserve less nights or choose accommodations. The emergence of online portals that facilitate the listing and rental apartments as well as the glut of homes with rental potential, derived from the housing crisis and the need for families to find resources to pay their mortgages, are causing increase housing opportunities, many times cheaper than hotels because they have lower costs. This scenario is also a consequence of the type of tourist who arrives in Spain, very oriented to the sun, beach and nightlife in many regions, with very tight budgets. This type of visitor decides to sacrifice quality for a hotel that can offer the economy of a flat or an apartment.

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