Catalonia crisis will also affect sales trips abroad by Spaniards

Catalonia crisis will also affect sales trips abroad by Spaniards

 

Catalonia crisis will also affect sales trips abroad by Spaniards

 This is the main conclusion of the first “Travel Industry Snapshot by Interface Tourism Spain”, which analyzes the scope of social, political and economic aspects in the Spanish tourism industry, which this representation agency launches with one of the most relevant information issues of the year. A panel of 32 experts and companies operating in the Spanish tourism market also expects that its sales in Spain to international destinations will be lower this year, compared with 2016

 The most important companies in the tourism sector operating in Spain are finding that the Catalonia crisis clearly affects their business, not only in the receptive tourism, according to the results of the first “Travel Industry Snapshot by Interface Tourism Spain”, the first edition of this panel of experts and companies that has analyzed the impact of the Catalonia instability on Spanish outbound tourism.

Catalonia represents approximately one third of the tourism outbound market in Spain. In addition, it concentrates 16% of the Spanish population, more than 25% of the country’s exports, represents 19% of GDP, and receives almost 21% of foreign investment. For this reason, Catalonia crisis it’s a warning to the tourism industry, because Catalonia is not only one of the main Spanish tourist destinations, but also, it is a very relevant outbound  market to other domestic and international destinations.

At the moment, 54% of the companies that have participated in this analysis of the current situation of the outbound companies in Catalonia and Spain, have already noticed a decrease, from moderate to significant, of their sales in the Catalonias market.

Meanwhile, for most companies in the sector it is too early to see the effects of the Catalonia crisis, some companies have already noticed a decrease in the travel sales. 63% of the companies in this panel have offices in Catalonia and 47% of their clients come from this community, so 40%  fear that their sales to other destinations (domestic and international) in this autonomous community will decrease respect to 2016.

 

32 companies are part of the panel, some of these companies are included in the Hosteltur Ranking of Large Travel Agency Networks, include firms such as Nautalia, Logitravel, Catai, Kuoni or American Airlines. In fact, 43% of these companies expect that the sales will also be affected throughout the Spanish market, between the end of 2017 and the first half of 2018 as a result of the Catalonia situation.

 Stability for the summer campaign

According to this study, 81% of the panel members expect that the Catalonia crisis get stabilize before the summer tourist campaign of 2018, so the measures and reactions about the phenomenon are mixed.

While 37% of these companies have chosen to ignore it totally and do not perform any alternative action, 28% have concentrated their commercial work in other Spanish market, 13% are investing more in marketing campaigns in the rest of the autonomous communities; and 10% have opted to reduce staff or directly close their office in Catalonia.

According to ForwardKeys, the platform for the analysis of airline bookings, international flights to Catalonia fell in October (in the most crisis severe phase) by 22% compared to the same dates in 2016, which could lead to future cancellations on international routes to Barcelona. According to Chris Pomeroy, CEO of Interface Tourism Spain, “although the call for regional elections in Catalonia on December 21 has reduced the tension in the markets, the results could generate a new acute phase of instability, which would affect all sectors, including, of course, tourism.”

“A general income reduction in tourism (representing more than 11% of Spanish GDP) not only means a decrease in tourist spending in Catalonia, but also general in Spain, a decline that can affect the spending capacity of the Spanish tourist in other destinations “, concludes Pomeroy.

 

Por Christopher Pomeroy

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