Much like everywhere else in Europe, no one knows what the heck's going on. Spain's huge tourism industry could taildive, or not. Meanwhile this confusion will surely hurt tourism dev efforts.
Spain’s tourism industry is bracing itself for a painful slowdown in bookings this summer, driven by a steep decline in local tourism due to economic crisis. Reservations by Spanish vacationers for July are 30% lower than last year. Hoteliers are concerned that govt may raise the industry’s value-added tax to 18% from the current 8% to reduce its yawning budget deficit, making Spain less attractive to foreign tourists compared with other less expensive destinations.
Meanwhile, hotel industry mouthpiece HotelNewsNow says something completely opposite: Figures from the Barcelona Hotel Association for Q1 2012 show a year-on-year hike in roomnights of nearly 3% (from 3,004,285 to 3,092,263), while the number of visitors rose by 2.4% from 1,510,150 to 1,546,688. Tourism Barcelona, the official tourism promotion body, said average occupancies rose from 74.8% in 2010 to 77.5% in 2011. The group expects growth to continue throughout 2012 and 2013.