Spain in hotel building boom

Despite the nervousness of the British market coming to Spain because of both problems caused by Brexit and the increased cost of living crisis in the UK, and the panic the sector is facing this Easter due to a lack of staff, this is still a boom time for the hotel sector, as Spain has become a point of reference for the main international hotel chains, which have seen in the country a unique opportunity to invest in the country’s tourism market.

Between 2021 and 2022, a total of 122 new hotel openings were registered in Spain, with a total of 22,640 rooms under international brands, according to data from the international consultancy Christie & Co, which estimates that another 100 establishments could open their doors in the country in the next three years.

However, despite the optimism, the penetration of international hotel brands in Spain remains below that of other neighbouring countries, although in recent years the brands have been very active in the country, driven by the entry of new investors and the development of ‘white label’ operators, capable of operating franchises of international brands.

The consultant’s analysis of the evolution of international hotel groups in Spain reflects their growing interest in developing new projects in the coming years.

According to data from Christie & Co, independent hotels have historically dominated the hotel industry in Spain, accumulating 59% of the total number of rooms in 2019. However, in recent years there has been a change in trend. As of 2019, international groups have been the ones that have grown the most (16% of the rooms), followed by national groups (4.5% of the rooms).

In a market dominated by 4-star hotels, the greatest growth was recorded in the 5-star category (+12% of rooms), largely due to the entry of these groups.

In recent years, a total of 29 new international brands have entered Spain, 23 of which belong to the ‘luxury & upscale’ segment and 6 to the ‘economy & midscale’ segment.

This movement is accompanied by changes in management modalities. In this sense, owned hotels accumulate 53% of the total volume of rooms. For their part, management contracts (+31%) and franchise (+10%) are the two modalities that have experienced the greatest growth.

The report highlights that 66% of the rooms incorporated by international brands correspond to the vacation segment (14,904 rooms), while 34% of the remaining rooms belong to the urban segment (7,736 rooms).

On the other hand, the analysis of the destinations shows that hotels with an international brand perform better, reaching rates 62% higher than those of hotels without a brand, especially in the 5-star category.

In the next three years, a total of 68 hotels (10,667 rooms) from the main international groups are planning to open in Spain. To these will be added new projects that are currently not confirmed but that could raise the number to even more than a hundred.

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