Euroresiuk

Crisis in the Costa Blanca, Spain


The Costa Blanca is Spain’s biggest loser from reduction in revenue from foreign tourists

Yesterday figures published by the Ministry of Tourism and Commerce showed that revenue received from foreign tourists has gone down by 188 million euros in the Costa Blanca in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 2008. Overall revenue from foreign tourists has dropped by 32% in the Valencian Region – 75% of tourist facilities are concentrated along the Costa Blanca. According to the results of a survey carried out by Egatur the number of passengers using El Altet airport in Alicante fell by 20% in March compared to the same period last year.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Commerce, foreign tourists spent on average 11% less in the first quarter of 2009. However, paradoxically it appears that the tourists who did travel to Spain spent 6% more than in previous years with spending on average 933 euros per person. Sources from the association of hotels from the Costa Blanca said that the main problem was the general fall in demand for hotel beds – something which had forced many establishments to launch special offers and to sacrifice their profit margins. Although they admit that figures for Easter were on the whole good, especially for those hotels on the coast but that the most important time of the year for them was high season which is now on the horizon and over which there exists a great deal of uncertainty.

The average amount spent by foreign tourists amounted to 96 euros a day which is 3.8% less than for the same period last year. The average length of time tourists stayed was 9.7 nights which is 4.7% more than that registered in the first quarter of 2008.

In March foreign tourists spent in total 3,121 million euros which is a fall of 17% compared to the same period in 2008. British and German tourists spent the most during this period – 1,682 and 1,608 million euros which represents a fall of 19% and 4% respectively. On average British tourists spent 805 euros per person while German tourists spent 1,034 euros each. French tourists spent on average 718 million euros and Italian tourists spent 398 million euros.

The largest cost for foreign tourists was hotel accommodation which accounted for 5,514 million euros (66.

9% of total costs) which represents a fall of 11.8% compared to the first three months of 2008. On the other hand, foreign tourists who visited Spain independently of tourist operators spent on average 11.7% less on accommodation (5,551 million euros) which represents 67.4% of their total costs.

Yesterday the Chairman of Turespaña, Antonio Bernabé, speaking at the opening of the Second Conference on Quality and the Environment in Valencia said that ‘the way to deal with the crisis was to increase quality, innovation, differentiation and sustainability’ and the strength of their reputation as leaders in tourism depended on it. Yesterday the hotel chain Servigroup received four prizes called ‘the Mark of Excellence’ which were awarded by the major tour operator Thomas Cook.