Despite the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty it creates for the tourism sector, Christie & Co wanted to publish the update of its report of urban destinations in Spain, which offers a positive vision of the industry, highlighting its strengths and the situation in which the Spanish hotel sector was in 2019.
In its report, Christie & Co analyses 15 Spanish urban destinations (Barcelona, San Sebastian, Palma, Malaga, Cádiz, Madrid, Seville, Bilbao, Valencia, Granada, Córdoba, Toledo, Santander, Alicante and Santiago de Compostela) selected according to their volume of hotel demand, supply and profitability.
Last year, the 15 studied cities together welcomed 78 million overnight stays, representing 23% of the total room nights in Spain. In addition, these cities saw increases in the volume of tourists consolidating an uptrend since 2014, with average annual growth above +4%, exceeding the country's average of +3%.
As for RevPAR levels, Barcelona remained the top urban destination, with a RevPAR of 108.7 Euros. Thanks to the recovery of its indicators, in 2019, Barcelona also surpassed the results of 2017, considered as the record year of the city (101.5 Euros) and also positioned itself as the city analyzed with the highest occupancy levels (81.0%). This ranking was followed by San Sebastian (101.9 Euros), which remained the city with the highest ADR (140.6 Euros), and Palma (85.7 Euros), which chose to raise prices (+5%) to the detriment of occupancy levels (which fell by 4%). Madrid surpassed Malaga in terms of RevPAR, placing itself as the fourth city with the highest RevPAR (80.1 Euros). The improvement of the hotel plant of the capital, as well as the holding of international events, allowed the city to significantly increase prices (+8%) without penalizing occupation.
With an increase of +6% of RevPAR, Malaga ranked fifth in the list (78.1 Euros), followed by Cadiz (77.1 Euros), Seville (76.6 Euros) and Bilbao (73.4 Euros).
Valencia placed in ninth position (67.8 Euros), being the city analyzed that grew the most in 2019, with an increase of (+12%). In addition, Valencia, together with Seville, are the cities that record the highest cumulative growth since 2014 (+11% CAGR 2014-2019). Santander and Alicante positioned themselves as the tenth and eleventh city in terms of RevPAR, and both recovered from the declines recorded in 2018. Granada (49.9 Euros) exceeded Cordoba (48.5 Euros), thanks to an increase of +8%, driven, among other factors, by the arrival of the AVE. Finally, Toledo (45.0 Euros) and Santiago de Compostela (42.2 Euros) were the cities that recorded the lowest RevPAR levels among the selected cities.
The report provides an analysis of the issuing markets in the 15 destinations, and how they are affected by seasonality or the duration of the average stay, reviewing their evolution in recent years. It also analyses both the current and future offers in the selected urban destinations and the ratio of overnight stays available (O2B). In addition, the report includes an appendix that analyses the evolution of these urban destinations over the past 20 years, highlighting their resilience to adverse situations, as well as a forecast of demand recovery for the years 2020 and 2021 and the challenges that the sector is expected to face from now on.
Joan Bagó, Market Analyst in the Hospitality Consultancy division of Christie & Co, and responsible for the report, points out "In 2019 the Spanish urban market again broke its own growth record in its main indicators (demand, supply and KPI's),’ consolidating a tourist infrastructure prepared to accommodate a high volume of tourists. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, an exceptional and unprecedented situation, such infrastructure must be adapted to the uncertainty that this situation entails, and implement new measures and protocols to ensure safety. "
Inmaculada Ranera, Managing Director of Christie & Co in Spain and Portugal, adds “We wanted to publish the update of our annual analysis of the evolution of the main urban markets in Spain, aware that 2019 was a year of very positive results and with the aim of offering the sector a vision of the challenge to be achieved again shortly. And we have added a special topic related to COVID-19, analyzing the main challenges of the future and a vision of the resilience of the sector seeing the trajectory of these urban markets in the last 20 years. We find it important at this difficult time to send a positive message to the sector, which will be able to emerge from this crisis in a relatively short time compared to other crises.”
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