Spanish hotel rates surge 36% as tourism takes off in April

REUTERS/Borja Suarez/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A couple takes a selfie while sunbathing on Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on the island of Gran Canaria, a popular destination for holiday group Tui, in Spain May 31, 2020.

MADRID (Reuters) – Hotels in Spain increased their rates by 36% in April from a year ago, charging 96.3 euros ($103.4) per night on average around the Easter holidays that marked a long-awaited rebound of tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic, official data showed.

The average rate was also 15% higher than in April 2019, before the pandemic struck in early 2020, bringing global travel to a near halt and forcing the few hotels that remained open to significantly lower their rates.

The National Statistics Institute on Tuesday said rooms in five-star hotels cost 23% more than a year ago, averaging 226.5 euros per night. Ironically, staying in cheaper, two-star hotels was now 40% more expensive, with rates at 66 euros.

Hoteliers have been able to adjust their rates and cover the inflation and energy price rises thanks to a significant increase in foreign tourism, mostly from Britain and Germany, as the European countries eased or lifted travel restrictions.

In March and April this year, the number of clients staying in Spanish hotels rose more than five times from a year ago, and 40% of them were residents in the country, INE added.

Tourist arrivals in April were at 86% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels and some popular islands hosted the same number of holidaymakers as they did before the pandemic, according to official figures.

Spanish hotel chain Melia said last week that during the Easter week it recorded a global increase of 18% in its room rates. The Mallorca-based group expects to have better sales at its resort hotels in 2022 than in 2019. ($1 = 0.9314 euros)