The analysis carried out by Exceltur of the 106 main Spanish destinations confirms the end of a year 2018 in which there has been a general slowdown in the growth of socioeconomic profitability induced by tourism, with better results for urban destinations as opposed to holidays. In addition, the barometer records a decline in income versus job creation.
Overall, the growth of RevPAR in Spain during 2018 as a whole stood at +1.6% (compared to +8.8% in 2017), reaching an average annual value of € 59.4, the highest in the historical series, while employment increased by +3.5 5%, which meant 18,355 new jobs in the destinations included in this Barometer.
Despite this slowdown, of the 106 destinations analysed, 71 still experienced increases in 2018 in their incomes and 90 of them in employment, compared to the values of one of the most important destinations in the world.
2017 which registered a very positive behaviour.
Thanks to the pull experienced in the last quarter of the year in most cities (+9.3% RevPAR in the cumulative Oct-Dec), urban destinations closed 2018 with greater growth in revenue per available room (+2.1%) and employment (+4.3%) than holiday destinations (+0.6% and +2.5%, respectively). This higher growth in profitability is particularly felt in the tourist use of the restaurant (+5.3%), leisure (+8.7%) and commerce (+2.1%) subsectors, which are growing more strongly in the case of urban destinations due to the increase in destination expenditure favoured by the arrival of a tourist with a higher consumption capacity.
In addition, the recovery of tourists to competing countries in the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia) has also slowed the increase in foreign demand to Spanish destinations, mainly in the lower spending segments. However, improved airport connectivity in some cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Seville) and improved business tourism has led to improved urban tourism data.
In the case of Galicia, the barometer does not include any point as a holiday destination, while in the case of urban destinations, the barometer shows the evolution of A Coruña, Lugo, Pontevedra and Santiago. The report highlights the slight falls of Santiago de Compostela and Lugo in profitability, although they improve in employment: Santiago: 37.8€ , -3.1% in RevPAR and +0.4% in employment; Lugo: 24.4€ , -1.9% in RevPAR and +5.1% in employment; while destinations such as A Coruña have a remarkably positive performance, such as A Coruña (37.0€ , +7.3% in RevPAR and +5.4% in employment).
The report also includes a decalogue of recommendations for local administrations to encourage tourism from a transversal point of view, improving tourism financing and the perception of the destination’s inhabitants (turismofilia), as well as promoting the digitalisation of destinations and governance.