At the beginning of the summer season, hotels along the coast made their calculations on the coming period with a certain optimism – they were reasoning that with the troubles in North Africa more Spaniards would opt for national holidays.
Admittedly, the summer had long been reduced to just a six weeks, even though the climate gives us three full months of guaranteed summer weather, but at least those six weeks would be busy…
But, so far, it hasn’t turned out as hoped.
According to the Spokesman for the Asociacion de Hoteleros de la Costa Tropical, Rafael Lamelas, the first fortnight of August had an average of 62% hotel occupation, which is seven or eight per cent down on last year.
The truth is that the 15th of August is the top summer ‘holiday’ and this year it falls on a Monday, making a 3-day bank holiday… if you can’t fill your hotel 100% at least one of those three nights, then things aren’t looking up.
The drive to attract guests has employed ‘special offers’ that were unimaginable in other times, but even so, the crisis in Spanish consumer spending in 2011 is relentless.
The Internet is having a noticeable affect on hotel offers: there are so many popular sites that specialise in low-cost offers that potential customers are making their choices as to whether they are going on holiday, or not, on last minute ‘bargains’ cropping up, so hotels find themselves having to make ‘juicier’ last minute offers to fill their rooms.
One such offer is for couples, where one of the two has a 50% discount. Antonio Molino, who is the manager of Hotel Bahia Tropical and Bahia Almunecar, says that he has been offered just 75 euros per night over the ‘big weekend’ when the normal price is 132 euros.
The big concern is that July and August are supposed to be surplus-generating months, on which to pad out the leaner, off-season ones, but if hotels have to bear such cuts to earnings in the summer, in order to attract trade, then the winter does not bode well.
(News: Hotels, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)