The Bain & Company report for ECCIA estimates that Spain will be a growth engine for high-impact tourism in Europe, tripling its revenues over the next decade if it harnesses its potential.
Spain is the country in Europe where high-end tourism has the greatest impact on GDP, with 2%, compared to the European average of 0.9%. This makes us the engine of growth of this tourism model in Europe, which could triple its income in the next decade to 520,000 million euros, according to the forecasts of the report by Bain & Company for ECCIA, the European Creative and Cultural Industries Alliance.
The report, presented at an event chaired by the Madrid City Council’s Tourism Delegate, Almudena Maíllo, shows that 50% of luxury tourism spending in Spain goes to shopping, while 26% to accommodation and 20% to restaurants.
However, Spain is where high-impact tourism generates less value than other major European economies. Italy is twice as high in terms of the multiplier effect and the United Kingdom is three times as high, i.e. in terms of how the expenditure reverts to the local economy and generates new wealth and employment.
SPANISH GASTRONOMY AND HOTELS
Spain is strong in haute cuisine: 54% of incoming travellers opt for gastronomic experiences of excellence and our country currently has 283 Michelin stars distributed among 228 restaurants.
“In our commitment to quality tourism, we must develop new products and destinations, but also support the conversion of a part of mass tourism that provides little value,” says the CEO of Marugal Distinctive Hotel Management, Pablo Carrington.
In the case of five-star hotels, Spain has more five-star establishments (4% of the total number of hotels) than major powers such as Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Germany. Only Portugal and Greece are ahead of Spain, with 7% and 6% of five-star hotels, respectively.
Bain & Company ranks the Balearic Islands as the “key luxury destination” in Spain and Madrid as the city where tourists spend the most in general (272 euros per day on average).
The 2% of high-end hotels in Madrid account for 29% of all tourism spending in Madrid, and generate 15% of employment in the sector.
“Spain must balance its high-impact tourism offer, with more emphasis on nature, high-end ‘sun and beach’ or culture. And it sees an opportunity to offer “sustainable experiences”, promoting local production, encouraging high quality craftsmanship and giving a patina of authenticity to travellers,” the report states.
As Javier Fernández Andrino, director of International Customer & Luxury Retail and member of the Board of Viajes El Corte Inglés, reminds us, “Spain must work to make tourists fall in love with our products; attracting tourism is not enough”.
Xandra Falcó, president of Círculo Fortuny, which belongs to ECCIA, points out that, in Spain, the average expenditure of the tourist of excellence “is four times higher than that of the normal tourist and generates twice as much employment”. “In Europe, these figures are even more impressive, since the average expenditure is multiplied by 8, generates more employment and the impact on the environment is more sustainable. Spain has all the ingredients to lead tourism of excellence not only in Europe, but also worldwide,” says Falcó.