The Spanish hotel sector is very optimistic about the remarkable recovery of tourism after the repercussions of the pandemic. Spain has closed a successful summer with the arrival in August of more than 10 million international tourists, which represents an increase of 13.9% compared to August 2022, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). Despite the positive figures achieved, hoteliers still have a great enemy to face on a daily basis: high energy costs.
The positive climate in the sector after leaving behind the adversities suffered in recent years is reflected in the opinion of the hoteliers themselves. According to the ‘II Accommodation Barometer in Spain’, elaborated by Booking.com in collaboration with Statista, 68% of Spanish hoteliers evaluated the current state of their business as very good, slightly surpassing the 61% reported by European hoteliers.
However, after overcoming the various challenges imposed by the coronavirus restrictions, the hotel sector is now faced with the challenge of dealing with the generalised rise in prices. According to the survey, this year 86% of hoteliers see energy costs as a key challenge. This is a higher proportion compared to 80% last year. Accommodation providers were equally concerned about geopolitical uncertainties in both years’ surveys, and slightly more concerned about staffing issues in 2023.
In the breakdown of industry professionals’ concerns, the second-highest ranking was the general economic situation with 47% of respondents, 46% ranking labour costs, followed by talent retention at 44%.
In addition to high utility bills, there are the current geopolitical uncertainties.
In this respect, it is true that energy inflation has come down considerably from the staggering 41.1% it reached in June 2022. But despite the gradual decline in inflation, the high cost to the pocketbook remains a major concern for employers in the sector.
The problem is the high price that has resulted from the price increases. This is because prices are now so high that, even if they stop rising, they pose a problem. A challenge not only for hoteliers, but also for tourists, as they can be affected.