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Hotel industry in Spain - statistics & facts

Tourism plays an essential role in Spain’s economy. In fact, the country has become one of the top tourist destinations worldwide, which reflects on the evolution of its hotel industry in the immediate years before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 60 percent of international visitors and around 15 percent of domestic tourists chose a hotel for their stay in the country, so the growth in the number of registered companies in the hotel and similar accommodation sector (apartment hotels, motels, etc.) comes as no surprise. As of January 1, 2020, there were around 12,600 enterprises with over 17,000 hotel establishments in the country. Interestingly enough, over half of them had up to two employees, which illustrates the importance of small and medium-sized businesses in Spain.

2020 was a very tough year for companies in hospitality. The average number of hotels that opened their doors despite the global crisis decreased by 35 percent to fewer than 10 thousand, the lowest in decades. As a result, employment numbers plummeted as well. Whereas in 2019 the average number of employees in hotel establishments hit an all-time high at nearly 220 thousand people, it went down to about 99 thousand in 2020. To top it all off, the investment in hotel real estate dropped by over 1.5 billion euros compared to 2019. Hotel properties in Spain managed to attract 955 million euros from all kinds of investors, the lowest sum since 2013.

A significant demand drop ruins KPIs

Unlike in previous years, in 2020 domestic tourists outnumbered international visitors in Spanish hotels. The enforcement of travel restrictions by most national governments in the world contributed to this situation. In any case, the number of hotel guests in Spain fell by nearly 70 percent and the number of nights spent in their premises did by approximately 75 percent. Despite everything, the nights spent by both British and German tourists amounted to over seven million. As for major Spanish coastal destinations, Barcelona ranked first with nearly 1.75 million hotel guests. Malaga’s Costa del Sol and Alicante’s Costa Blanca, traditionally popular among Spaniards, ranked second and third, respectively.

The key performance indicators (KPIs) also reflect the impact of the coronavirus on the industry. The annual hotel bed occupancy rate dropped by half to about 34 percent, with August seeing the highest value at 44 percent, over 30 points below that in the same month of 2019. The Canary Islands were the only Spanish region where the occupancy rate got close to 50 percent. In a situation like this, profitability was doomed to sink. The average daily rate (ADR) decreased by ten euros to 81, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR) dropped by half to 31.4 euros.

Main Spanish hotel chains

Meliá Hotels International, headquartered in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic islands), is the main Spanish hotel chain by both revenue and number of rooms worldwide. With nearly three billion euros in 2019 and over 83 thousand hotel rooms all over the globe, Meliá leads the top 5 in Spain’s hotel industry. Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Riu Hotels & Resorts and Barceló Hotel Group, also headquartered in Palma, had revenues of over two billion euros as well. NH Hotel Group, the only one whose central office is in Madrid, ranked fifth with around 1.7 billion euros. If we focus on properties in Spain only, however, Eurostars Hotel Company (Grupo Hotusa) is the chain with the most establishments and the third highest number of rooms.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Hotel industry in Spain" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Major destinations

Hotel investment in 2020

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Hotel industry in Spain".

Hotel industry in Spain

Dossier on the topic

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Hotel industry in Spain - statistics & facts

Tourism plays an essential role in Spain’s economy. In fact, the country has become one of the top tourist destinations worldwide, which reflects on the evolution of its hotel industry in the immediate years before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 60 percent of international visitors and around 15 percent of domestic tourists chose a hotel for their stay in the country, so the growth in the number of registered companies in the hotel and similar accommodation sector (apartment hotels, motels, etc.) comes as no surprise. As of January 1, 2020, there were around 12,600 enterprises with over 17,000 hotel establishments in the country. Interestingly enough, over half of them had up to two employees, which illustrates the importance of small and medium-sized businesses in Spain.

2020 was a very tough year for companies in hospitality. The average number of hotels that opened their doors despite the global crisis decreased by 35 percent to fewer than 10 thousand, the lowest in decades. As a result, employment numbers plummeted as well. Whereas in 2019 the average number of employees in hotel establishments hit an all-time high at nearly 220 thousand people, it went down to about 99 thousand in 2020. To top it all off, the investment in hotel real estate dropped by over 1.5 billion euros compared to 2019. Hotel properties in Spain managed to attract 955 million euros from all kinds of investors, the lowest sum since 2013.

A significant demand drop ruins KPIs

Unlike in previous years, in 2020 domestic tourists outnumbered international visitors in Spanish hotels. The enforcement of travel restrictions by most national governments in the world contributed to this situation. In any case, the number of hotel guests in Spain fell by nearly 70 percent and the number of nights spent in their premises did by approximately 75 percent. Despite everything, the nights spent by both British and German tourists amounted to over seven million. As for major Spanish coastal destinations, Barcelona ranked first with nearly 1.75 million hotel guests. Malaga’s Costa del Sol and Alicante’s Costa Blanca, traditionally popular among Spaniards, ranked second and third, respectively.

The key performance indicators (KPIs) also reflect the impact of the coronavirus on the industry. The annual hotel bed occupancy rate dropped by half to about 34 percent, with August seeing the highest value at 44 percent, over 30 points below that in the same month of 2019. The Canary Islands were the only Spanish region where the occupancy rate got close to 50 percent. In a situation like this, profitability was doomed to sink. The average daily rate (ADR) decreased by ten euros to 81, while the revenue per available room (RevPAR) dropped by half to 31.4 euros.

Main Spanish hotel chains

Meliá Hotels International, headquartered in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic islands), is the main Spanish hotel chain by both revenue and number of rooms worldwide. With nearly three billion euros in 2019 and over 83 thousand hotel rooms all over the globe, Meliá leads the top 5 in Spain’s hotel industry. Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Riu Hotels & Resorts and Barceló Hotel Group, also headquartered in Palma, had revenues of over two billion euros as well. NH Hotel Group, the only one whose central office is in Madrid, ranked fifth with around 1.7 billion euros. If we focus on properties in Spain only, however, Eurostars Hotel Company (Grupo Hotusa) is the chain with the most establishments and the third highest number of rooms.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Hotel industry in Spain".

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