The hotel profitability in Spain it improved last year but is still far from the levels of 2019 due to the persistence of restrictions on international mobility and the drop in foreign tourism. The ‘Hotel Barometer’ prepared by the consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield and STR ensures that the Spanish hotel industry doubled revenue last year with a global occupancy of 31.6%, compared to 18.8% in 2020 (75% in 2019). This increase in occupancy and price maintenance allowed the RevPAR (revenue per available room) to rise to 35.9 euros, when in 2020 it was 17.9 euros (from 86 euros in 2019).
Even if industry experts acknowledge that a “robust recovery” is taking place and that the situation is far from what existed before the pandemic. At that time, the RevPAR indicator was 86 euros and the ADR (average daily price) was 114 euros. In 2021, the ADR reached 113.6 euros, 20% more than in 2020. “This last indicator is the one that has remained at high levels despite the pandemic, demonstrating the willingness of hotel chains to maintain prices at despite the difficulties generated by low occupancy,” explains the C&W report.
The destination with the best ADR (average daily price) and RevPAR is Marbella, with 272 euros and 80 euros, respectively. For its part, Madrid achieves better occupancies than Barcelona, 35% compared to 30.9%, and also better profitability per room (35 euros compared to 31 euros). In Barcelona, many establishments are still closed due to the lack of international tourism.
Málaga It is the only city that managed to exceed 50% occupancy in the 2021 financial year overall. The Costa del Sol has been especially resilient to the loss of foreign tourism. Malaga achieved the best occupancy in all of Spain with 51% for the year as a whole, which represents a growth of 95% compared to 2020. For its part, Marbella remains at 29% in occupancy, but achieves RevPAR and ADR highest in all of Spain, 272 euros and 80 euros, respectively. Zaragoza and Alicante complete the podium of the cities with the best occupations, with 49% and 46%, respectively. On the contrary, the lowest occupations have been registered in the Balearic Islands, 21%, and the Canary Islands, with 29%. The seasonality of the Balearic Islands explains such a low occupancy in the year as a whole. In Spain as a whole, occupancy was 31.6% in 2021, when in 2020 it was 19%, while in 2019 it reached 75%.
The activity reached during the summer season that lasted until September-October was very good, according to most hotel businessmen, but the arrival of the Omicron variant at the end of the year once again put a damper on growth expectations. Albert Grau, partner and co-director of Cushman & Wakefield Hospitality in Spain, considers that “we cannot expect the levels of the industry in 2019 until there is a real overcoming of the pandemic, but the recovery has already started solidly, the great Most hotels have reopened and demand shows that there is a desire to travel and their spending capacity is high.The leisure segment will accelerate its activity as soon as the context allows it and segments such as MICE (business tourism) will have to wait a bit more, although it is true that we are beginning to see congress and fair activity as well”.
Barcelona, the only destination with lower prices
The only destination that reduced its prices last year was Barcelona. The C&W analysis found that prices fell by an average of 2.5% in Barcelona, going from 103 euros in 2020 to 101 euros in 2021. For Bruno Hallé, partner and co-director of Cushman & Wakefield Hospitality in Spain “Barcelona and Madrid achieve an almost identical ADR, but the trend in Barcelona is downward because it is costing to recover international tourism, especially American and Asian. In any case, the hotel industry has made an effort to continue offering an attractive product with stable prices, which will enable a solid recovery.”
The Hotel Sector Barometer collects data from 1,200 hotels and around 150,000 rooms in the Iberian Peninsula. The study is the result of the alliance between STR, a global provider of analytics and market knowledge, especially in the hotel sector, and Cushman & Wakefield Spain, a leading global firm in real estate services.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.