Spain continues to attract tourists, especially now that the good weather is arriving. With the spring season just around the corner, foreign tourists' interest in Spain increases by 175% at this time of year. In addition, the year-on-year growth in domestic demand is 140% higher for the same period.
Data collected by Expedia in both its search engine and the Traveler Value Index: 2022 Outlook report are encouraging. According to the new study, the numbers are recovering and guests have not lost their desire to travel despite the uncertainty.
In fact, coexistence with Covid-19 seems inevitable. Although, yes, it has altered the way we enjoy tourism. However, these changes can be beneficial to the industry, as people want to go away more often and enjoy quality time.
New Trends among Spanish Travelers
The Spanish travel search trends offer interesting data on what may be the direction that national tourism will take in between March and May 2022.
In addition to a large growth in demand compared to the pandemic years, it is striking to know that only five destinations account for 30% of searches. Plus, we see that the average number of nights per trip is 5 and that people are seeking higher quality accommodations.
The main findings are as follows:
Year-on-year growth in domestic demand for spring break in Spain is 140%. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the sector will reach 2019 figures as the market is still recovering from the health crisis.
30% of searches come mainly from 5 specific destinations. Madrid is in the lead with 10%, followed in a four-way tie by Tenerife, Seville, Gran Canaria and Costa del Sol, with 5% each.
This spring, the average stay days for these five key destinations was 5 nights, an average that has remained unchanged since 2019. It is interesting, though, that inland stays are generally shorter than in coastal or island accommodations.
A very high volume of domestic tourists are looking for 3 or 4-star accommodations, as around 75% of domestic searches are in this category. This trend has been maintained since 2019.
Spain's Attractiveness for Foreign Tourists
During the spring months, Spain has also managed to gather the attention of international travelers. In fact, 90% of the searches come from customers outside Spain, which is 175% more than the same period last year.
Other interesting data are:
The origin of foreign tourists shows the success between Europeans and English speakers. The origin is divided between Americans and British (15% each), followed by French (5%), Swedes (5%) and Germans (5%).
Around 60% of the searches are just for 5 destinations, which are: Barcelona in first place with 20% and then Madrid, the island of Mallorca, Tenerife and the Costa del Sol, with 10% each.
Eighty percent of international demand prefers, according to their searches, accommodations with a medium or higher position on the rating scale. Again, this trend has been the same since 2019, so it seems settled.
Spending Rises and Loyalty Programs Triumph
One of the things that have become clear is that, after two years of the pandemic, foreign tourists value more than ever the ability to travel and enjoy leisure time. As a result, they are willing to spend more on vacations. At least more than half of those surveyed say they plan to spend more than they did before the pandemic.
While searching for good deals, loyalty programs are of interest to 40% of people surveyed, a percentage that increases among Generation Z. On the other hand, almost all respondents pointed out that discounted fares motivate them to book a flight online.
More Flexibility and Sustainable Destinations
At the same time, people will give more importance to sustainable travel than ever before. In line with the above, 59% are willing to pay more for that, while 49% prefer less crowded destinations to curb mass tourism.
At the same time, demand for wellness travel has increased, up to 81% of people want to go on at least one wellness trip in the next six months. The data shows that 78% prefer short, frequent stays to a single long trip. However, flexibility is key for travelers as 83% said it is a decisive factor.
Therefore, now that the interest of foreign tourists in Spain is increasing and domestic demand is also growing, the sector has to be aware of these changes in clients in order to take advantage of the opportunity to consolidate spring travel recovery.