Monday, 19 September 2016

The Pound May have Slumped A Bit But Spanish Visitor Numbers Still up 15% in July

The Pound May have Slumped a Bit, But Spanish Visitor Numbers Still up 15% in July

The British have always had a reputation of being hardy and not letting anything (or anyone) get between them and their summer holiday.

Spain is having an amazing year and beating previous
records month after month.
Even though the Brexit vote in June brought down the value of the pound for a short while and made it worth about the same as the Euro (some airports in Spain are even exchanging pounds for less than the cost of euros) Brits are still heading to Spain by the bucket load. The latest data from the Office of National Statistics (INE) shows that the number of British visitors to Spain soared by 15% in July.

The INE data shows that just over 27% of all the hotel rooms in Spain were occupied by Brits during July, even though the prices for those rooms have increased by an average of about 6% over last summer. The Spanish summer lure has been bigger than ever this year and the INE are also reporting that Spanish hotels across the country are reporting record occupancy numbers.

The Costal del Sol, which has always been a perennial favourite for the Brits, saw occupancy rates in July reach up to 79%. The Hotel Owner’s Association of the Costa del Sol (AEHCOS) say they believe this number will rise to a peak of 85% in August before falling down to the still-respectable 75% in September.

This summer spike prediction is pretty reasonable given the incredible start Spain got to the year. January and April saw an increase in visitor numbers of 13% compared to the same period of time in 2015 reaching a massive 18.1 million. Spain is definitely on track to break the records set last year and a large chunk of this is thanks to the loyalty of British holidaymakers.

More people from countries outside of the UK are also coming to Spain; there are 4.1% more German visitors, 8.8% more French visitors and 3.8% more Dutch visitors. The strange thing is that Spain has only become more expensive for British visitors but they continue to just keep coming.

After the pound dropped following the Brexit vote many felt that British tourism numbers would be down. Instead they rose at a much faster rate than any other nationality and still spend around the same amount on average while in the country.

British visitors usually have a positive effect on the economy in the area they stay. Brits also make up the largest portion of foreign property owners in Spain. A Market Report on the Costa del Sol from 2015 by real estate consultants Aguirre Newman showed that Brits made up a sizeable chunk of the 75% of foreign nationals purchasing property in and around Marbella.

This report also showed that villas for sale in the Costa del sol stay on the market for only half as long as they did a year ago, which is good news for the real estate industry.