After the publication this morning of the data relating to the arrival of foreign tourists and the occupation of non-hotel establishments in August, the Cluster Turismo Galicia is taking a very positive balance of the summer season, understood as the months of July and August, confirming the increase in overnight stays, average stay and average occupancy, which directly affected the improvement in the profitability of the Satisfaction that puts the sector on the right track but with the aim of continuing to work to increase profit margins that allow a clear commitment to professionalism, quality and renewal of the Galician tourism industry, essential to achieve a modern and competitive sector.
According to the data compiled from INE statistics, Galicia is this summer as one of the areas of Spain that shows the greatest dynamism in the tourism sector during the central months of summer by registering just over 1.5 million tourists and exceeding 4 million overnight stays, a figure never reached before and which represents an increase of almost 5% over the months of July and August 2016. A significant growth if we take into account that it occurs during the busiest period of employment, with figures already exceptional last year, which makes the margin for improvement is lower. So far this year, more than 3.5 million travellers have chosen Galicia for their holidays, which is also a record number and demonstrates the growth capacity of our territory, which is consolidated as the 4th favorite destination for Spaniards in August, bringing together 7.7% of the total number of overnight stays that took place in Spain last month.
Tourists also stayed longer on average this summer, increasing the average stay by around 5% and standing at just over two nights on average. This increase has also helped to improve employment levels, which stood at around 60% in July and August – 65% during the weekends -, an increase of 2.7 points after five consecutive years of growth. In the case of apartments, occupancy has been higher, reaching 80% while in rural tourism the occupancy rate is around 48% with Pontevedra and A Coruña located among the 15 provinces with the largest number of overnight stays in this type of establishment during the month of August. However, we are still far from the 77.5% average occupancy rate in Spain, which leaves us room for improvement, especially in territories outside the areas with the highest tourist influx.
In this sense, the Cluster points out the need to redouble its efforts to increase seasonalization and improve the average occupation throughout the year, which currently stands at around 32%, creating new tourist products, adding value to existing ones and turning our resources into tourist products. But, above all, it is essential to analyse the tourist flows and cargo capacities of some of our main tourist spots. Although Galicia has not yet reached the occupation figures in the summer period of autonomous regions similar to ours such as Asturias or Cantabria, there are destinations that even exceed 77% of the Spanish average such as Sanxenxo (90.6%) Santiago (87.3%), O Grove (84.4%), A Coruña, Vigo, Lugo or Ribadeo, which are around 80% of occupation during the period is
Improved profitability and price increases
With an average room price per night of 62.4€ in July and 68.7€ in August, Galician hotels are in the process of recovering pre-crisis prices. The 5-point price increase over last year has led to an improvement in profitability of almost 10 points and has allowed the community’s accommodations to increase their profitability by 25% since 2008, going from €37.6 earned per room in August 2008 to €46.87 last month.
Thus, the average daily turnover of hotels for each occupied room (ADR) in the whole of these two months has been 65.5€, which represents an increase of 6.0% compared to the same period in 2016, while the average daily income per available room (RevPAR), which is conditioned by the occupation registered in hotel establishments, reached 40.75 euros, with an increase of 6.4%. These figures do not yet lie far from the national average of around 100€ per room occupied and 78€ of average income per quarter and leave the sector still with a wide margin for improvement in profitability as our community continues to be the fourth most economic to stay in summer in Spain, only surpassed by Aragón, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, La Rioja and Melilla.
Growth of foreign tourism
The recovery of prices is, therefore, key to guarantee quality tourism, through the improvement of services and facilities that attract new market niches and, in this sense, the Galician tourism sector is raising its expectations of growth and employment throughout the year in two fundamental aspects: specialization in new market segments and the increase of foreign travelers, especially tangible in the surroundings of the Camino de Santiago. In the central months of the summer more than 412 thousand foreigners have visited Galicia, which is an increase of 17% compared to the same period last year.
However, national and domestic tourism continue to have a majority weight, around 75%, during the summer season. Domestic and national tourism has been recovering weight and that means 4.7 million trips and more than 12 million overnight stays so far this year, a period in which Galicians and Spaniards have spent an average of 57 euros per person, three euros more than the national average.
The summer season has also brought with it an increase in employment, mainly during the month of July. Since 2014, the Galician tourism sector has experienced a gradual recovery of the confidence and employment that had been lost during the years of the crisis, which has translated into a growth this year of 3.5 points in the number of employees during the summer season, around 87 thousand affiliates in the Social Security in July and 84 thousand in August, corresponding to the set of accommodation services, restaurants and travel agency services, operators
Although it is true that temporality is inherent to this type of contract, the increase in the number of employees linked to the different branches of the sector has been constant in recent years, reaching an average of 108 thousand workers, 60% of whom have an indefinite contract. The weight that the Galician tourism sector is reaching is obvious, as an economic engine of the country, but still far from other autonomous communities. The weight of tourist activities on the total number of social security affiliations in Galicia is 8.6%, far from the weight it represents in other territories, where it accounts for around 30 or 40% of total employees.
Joint work of the sector
Since its creation, the Galician Tourism Cluster has worked hand in hand with the sector and the different public administrations to generate synergies that will allow the sector to modernize and become more competitive. The creation of new specialized tourist products that aim to highlight existing resources (Enoturismo Galicia, Galicia Destino Familiar, Galicia Destino Activo…) and a firm commitment to excellence, with the achievement of more than a hundred new Quality Q certifications and the 44 top quality Galician Calidade Lecer, guarantee a three-year trajectory in which the commercialization and internationalisation of The training, modernization and professionalization of our sector has also been very present in the objectives of this Cluster, which works to achieve sustainable and future tourism in Galicia.
A future sector in which there is still a lot of work to be done in order to continue on the path marked by a commitment to professionalism and excellence in order to achieve differentiated, sustainable, profitable, competitive tourism with a medium and long term future.