With “low-cost” flights to Spain more expensive than ever, a general and tourism industry VAT (sales tax) rise and a sharp fall in bookings, there are fears that tourism — the jewel in Spain’s economic crown — will not be able to retain its luster as the economy falters there, and beyond.
As Europeans continue to strugglewith austerity measures leading to job losses and tax rises across the continent, holidays in the Spanish sun are perhaps high on wish lists but low on the priority agenda for many families. However, the tourism industry is one of the main lifelines for the Spanish economy , with the industry generating almost 16 percent of the country’s GDP in 2011.
Yoland Pickett, from the Benidorm tourism board, told CNBC that tourism was still viewed as a growth industry and that demand could match the previous year — especially in Benidorm, a town on the Costa Blanca that is popular with Brits (accounting for 40 percent of the visitors), Belgians, Dutch and Portuguese, as well as Spanish holiday makers.
“Overall, we’re quite positive,” she said. “We think we’re going to end up with figures close to 2011.”Page 1 of 3 | Next Page