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C&W Hotel Barometer Spain 3Q 2020

The Hotel Sector Barometer brings together data from 1,200 hotels and more than 165,000 rooms in mainland Spain and the islands.

The holiday season closes with hotel industry indicators showing no sign of recovery in the short term.

  • Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearic Islands are bearing the brunt of the crisis in tourism demand due to their dependence on international visitors arriving by air.
  • In comparison with the third quarter of 2019, the fall in occupancy for Spain as a whole amounts to 56.6%, those hotels that opened (some 37% of the total) having an average occupancy of 33% during the first nine months of 2020.
  • Hotel revenue per available room, i.e. RevPAR, also crashed to €31. This is some 65% lower than the figure recorded for the first nine months of 2019.
  • The figures for Spain are comparatively worse than those recorded in neighbouring countries, such as Germany, France and Italy, where some 80% of hotels were open despite the arrival of the second wave of COVID-19.

The Spanish Hotel Sector Barometer, produced jointly by STR and Cushman & Wakefield, confirms that the tourism and hotel sector are going through the worst crisis seen for 75 years, comparable only to the wartime periods experienced in the 20th century. The indicators for the first nine months show major falls in comparison with the same period the previous year. Occupancy stood at around 33% for those hotels that opened, in contrast to a figure of 76% for the previous year - a good result in historical terms. The trend for RevPAR (average revenue per available room) was very similar, going from €88 to €31, a fall of 65%. The data for this Barometer was gathered on the basis of the hotels that are currently open and report their data to STR, representing some 37% of the total share under normal conditions prior to the pandemic (more than 1,200 hotels).

The current situation in Spain is relatively worse than that being endured by neighbouring countries, though these are obviously also being affected by the healthcare crisis. Around 80% of hotels in France, Italy and Germany have reopened and their occupancy figures hover around the 40% mark. As in the case of Spain, the figures for regional and inland destinations in these countries are better than those achieved by major cities and international destinations, where the lack of arrivals from abroad is hindering any robust recovery.

According to Javier Serrano, Country Manager of STR for Spain and Portugal, “over the medium term, until 2023/24, we are unlikely to see a solid recovery in RevPAR for the majority of markets. Over the short term, the virus will continue to circulate and affect primarily international demand flows. As a result, and as in the case of this past summer, domestic and leisure demand will remain the main driver of recovery over the coming months”. For Javier Serrano, “international indicators show that we are past the worst, with countries where practically all hotels are open. This is the case in China and Singapore, with occupancy figures currently exceeding 60%. Not all markets within Spain have been impacted to the same degree, with regions such as Asturias and Cadiz enjoying occupancy levels of between 50% and 62% during the three summer months

Alicante, Cordoba and Malaga achieved close to 40% occupancy, whereas Barcelona and the Balearic Islands were unable to reach even 30%.

The holiday season has not led to a recovery in hotel activity, with falls still being recorded particularly in destinations where international tourism and tour operators are major players (such as the Balearic Is., Madrid and Barcelona). Following an unsuccessful summer with attempts at reopening frustrated by fear of a second wave of COVID-19, the only markets achieving results exceeding 40% overall occupancy for the first nine months of the year are Cordoba, Malaga and Alicante. In those destinations, domestic tourism demand has managed to cushion a fall which, for Spain as a whole, amounts to 56.6% in comparison with the previous year, with an effective occupancy of 33.2% in those hotels that are open.

According to Bruno Hallé, Partner and Co-head of Cushman & Wakefield Hospitality Spain, “the sector is going through a period of enormous difficulty, during which it has been necessary to claim direct assistance from government and local authorities in order to ensure the survival of businesses in a strategic sector. Having survived, we can now begin to look ahead to the recovery of activity which, at all times, must be accompanied by guarantees in terms of healthcare and overcoming the pandemic”.


ADR fell by some 19% for Spain as a whole

Between January and September, the average daily rate in Spanish hotels dropped by some 19%. The greatest falls in ADR were recorded in Barcelona, Marbella and Bilbao, whereas the Canary Islands saw a drop of just 2% and Zaragoza even managed to increase its overall results for the year by some 11% as a result of the direct impact of increased domestic demand during the holiday period.
In the opinion of Bruno Hallé, “the data mirrors the efforts of the hotel industry to maintain prices in those establishments that remained open, companies realising the importance of not giving way to downward pressures on prices, where possible. The strategy of attracting quality tourism must remain at the core whilst taking the first steps on the road to recovery”.

According to Javier Serrano, “It is imperative to avoid a price war that would devalue the market. This could be very dangerous for many independent hotels, putting them at risk of never recovering from the crash. In other, similar, global crisis situations, we have seen how every market has achieved a recovery in ADRs to levels similar to those seen prior to the crisis. This is not, however, the case with many Independent hotels and chains in these markets. During the past economic cycle and as a consequence of the global financial crisis, around 10% of hotels in the US were unable to bounce back and are nowadays offering prices seen prior to the 2008 crisis.


RevPAR has fallen by some 65% over the year to date

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) has seen a fall of 65% over the year to date, dropping from the €88 recorded in 2019 to a figure of €31 over the first nine months of 2020. This time the figure for revenue is entirely dependent on the falls in occupancy recorded. The greatest drop in RevPAR was recorded in Barcelona (-75%), followed by the Balearic Islands (-69%).


The Hotel Sector Barometer brings together data from 1,200 hotels and more than 165,000 rooms in mainland Spain and the islands. The study is the product of an alliance between STR, a worldwide provider of benchmarking, analytics and market knowledge specialising in the hotel sector, and Cushman & Wakefield Spain, the world leader in real estate services.


About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: Cushman & Wakefield is a global leader in real estate services that offers exceptional value by putting into practice ideas for occupiers and owners within the property sector. Cushman & Wakefield is one of the largest real estate services firms, with more than 53,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2019, the company posted revenue of $8.8 billion in property services, facility and project management, lease deals, capital markets, valuations and other services.

With more than 30 years experience in Spain, Cushman & Wakefield covers the entire country. The head offices are located in Madrid, at (Edificio Beatriz, José Ortega and Gasset, 29, 6º) and Barcelona (Passeig de Gràcia, 56, 7º).

About STR
STR provides premium benchmarking, analytics and market outlook information to clients from multiple sectors. Founded in 1985, STR is present in 15 countries and headquartered in Hendersonville, Tennessee, United States. The international head office is in London, UK. For further information, please visit


Bruno Hallé
Bruno Hallé

Partner, Co – Head of Hospitality • Barcelona

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