In the absence of official figures, the Galician tourism sector welcomes the arrival of August, traditionally the most stable month in terms of weather and occupations of the year. The forecast with which the sector is working is that the occupation of August will remain at the figures set in previous years, without exceeding the record of last year, and closer to the line of the summers of 2014 and 2015, which reached employment figures of around 70% with occupations of more than 80% at weekends and points of greater tourist affluence.
As for this month of July, the sector believes that it could close with a generalised fall in occupancy, with the year-on-year decline fluctuating between 3 and 10%. In general terms, the range of occupancy in Galicia would have been between 70% and 85%, in the absence of officially closing these figures, while for the month of August are expected occupations between 70% and 90%, depending on the tourist destinations consulted. In the case of rural tourism, the occupation in July was 46%, a figure that is expected to be surpassed in August, with the forecast of reaching 60%.
From these initial data, it can therefore be deduced that the sector is holding back some of its expectations. After a period of constant growth, which has managed to break many of the ceilings established to date, with the arrival of travellers and overnight stays never before reached, the Galician tourism sector considers that 2018 is the year of market stabilisation. “There can be no constant growth, the record figures set last year will hardly be surpassed”, explains the president of the Cluster Tourism of Galicia, Francisco González, who believes that this 2018 “still has much to offer, especially because in these years we have been working hard and well in the process of deseasonalization and the results are beginning to show, with good employment figures in months outside the highest summer season,” he explains.
Slight stagnation of the sector at the national level
For González the most important thing is that the Galician tourism sector is managing to maintain prices in the framework of a slight process of stagnation and fall in tourism demand at the national level. “We maintain profitability and that is the most important thing for our sector,” he says.
A situation that the Tourism Cluster of Galicia blames on a number of factors, three of which stand out in particular: unfavourable weather conditions, which did not encourage reservations in June and July; the progressive recovery of the Mediterranean markets (Turkey, Egypt, etc.), which is affecting national destinations and, indirectly, Galicia; and, finally, a process of stagnation in the economy, which is also affecting the tourism sector. While up to May there had been good figures for occupancy and demand, since June this demand has come to a standstill, which has led to uncertainty and a slowdown in tourism transactions.
In any case, Galicia has demonstrated to have a strong and developed tourism sector that has allowed it to face with solvency difficult situations in the past, which is why the president of the Cluster Tourism of Galicia is confident of achieving good data this season. “We are not worried but we must remain vigilant and active to continue working with quality and professionalism, we will not set a record summer but we must work to maintain the path of growth and profitability that we have managed to develop over the last five years,” he explained.