Just over a hundred tourism professionals met at the “Challenges for Galician tourism entrepreneurs” conference, held in Santiago de Compostela on the initiative of the Galician Tourism Cluster, ESADE and Caixabank. The event, which was attended by the Director of Tourism of Galicia, Nava Castro, also served as the occasion for the presentation by ESADECREAPOLIS of the “Report on Tourism Innovation in Galicia”, a study containing 151 opinions of the sector, which served to deepen the perception that Galician professionals have of the current situation of the sector and the future challenges they face in terms of business model, profitability, costs and evolution in the habits of travellers.
It was precisely in this sense that the president of the Galician Tourism Cluster stated, highlighting the strong commitment of the Galician tourism sector to a sustainable and quality tourism offer, which has been supported by an increase in tourism expenditure in recent years. A consolidation of the growth of the sector that has also highlighted the director of Tourism of Galicia, Nava Castro, who has highlighted the commitment to excellence in which the Xunta de Galicia is immersed.
As highlighted in the report presented this morning, the Galician hotel sector is committed to the development of sustainable tourism and a higher quality tourist offer. in a stage of consolidation of the good records achieved, among which is the increase in daily expenditure per tourist, which rises above the national data. Josep F. Valls, Professor in ESADE’s Department of Marketing and Director of the report, stressed that although improving product, service and image are the priorities of Galician hoteliers, the sector is largely satisfied with meeting tourists’ expectations.
Some of the points also highlighted in the study is that there is widespread concern in the sector about changing consumer habits, lower prices and the environmental costs they face. In addition, aspects such as seasonality and the lack of business planning also have a negative impact. However, the study shows that only 17% of the sector sees the need for a change in the business model, but that nearly half of them already have a clear vision and roadmap.
For its part, Javier Ibánez de Aldecoa, economist at CaixaBank Research, has stressed in his paper “Tourist Environment of Galicia”, that “the tourism industry is entering a stage of consolidation of its good records. In 2019, the number of overnight stays increased by 6.2% and tourist spending grew above the national average. This in a more adverse environment than in previous years, with a global economy that will grow at a more moderate pace.
According to the CaixaBank Research report, the tourism industry is betting and investing in a higher quality tourism offer. As a result, tourist spending is increasing at a solid rate thanks to productivity gains in the sector.
Adapting to a new client model
The day concluded with a round table to analyze the tourism opportunities in Galicia. Different agents from the hotel sector have participated in it, such as the managers Jesús Picallo, from the Semáforo de Fisterra Hotel, Cesar Sánchez, from the Bahía de Vigo Hotel and Richard Huertas, from the Ibis A Coruña Hotel. Diego Hernández, Director of Hotels & Tourism at CaixaBank, acted as moderator.
A space in which different topics have been approached like the tourist industry at world-wide level, as well as the Galician tourist sector. There was also space for one of the points that most concerns the sector: the change and transformation of the traveler’s habits, which has been the engine of this change. Everyone has agreed that the client of today has nothing to do with the client of 20 years ago. The current customer is more informed, more connected, much more demanding and impatient. And above all, much more technological. This is where the rest of the tourism sector comes in, adapting to this new customer profile and, in short, to this new demand.