Hotel establishments in Almeria expect an average occupancy rate of almost 60% this Easter. This is reflected in the data from the hotel occupancy survey carried out by the Andalusian Tourism Analysis and Statistics System (Saeta). The study, which does not include last minute bookings, suggests that during the public holidays (from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday) this figure will be around 70%.
In the sector, travellers who make up their minds on the spot are becoming more and more important. In fact, the perception of Almeria’s businessmen is very optimistic that these forecasts will be exceeded and more than half believe that they will have better results than in Easter 2019, the last one before the COVID.
Therefore, for the territorial delegate of Tourism in Almeria, Vicente García Egea, “having six out of ten places occupied from the start is already a very positive figure considering the situation from which we come and the current uncertainties, which indicates that we have a consolidated destination thanks to the work done by the entrepreneurs and workers who deserve an exceptional Easter Week for the resilience they have shown”.
“The forecasts confirm the growth trend of a strategic sector for the economy and employment that has been one of the most affected by the pandemic but which is also one of the fastest recovering and I am convinced that the season that begins with Easter will be the definitive one for tourism to return to the record figures that we reached two years ago,” he said.
García Egea highlighted the “diversity offered by a province like Almería” for the traveller, with more than 200 kilometres of beach, unique landscapes such as the Tabernas desert, inland towns where you can lose yourself and enjoy a rich heritage and, of course, cultural traditions around the Easter processions which this year will return to the streets.
In Andalusia as a whole, the SAETA survey forecasts an average occupancy rate of 70% throughout the week, which will be around 80% on the long weekend, just eight points below the rate recorded from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday in 2019. By provinces, Huelva (88%), Malaga (83%) and Seville (81%) stand out, followed by Granada, Jaen and Cordoba (all three above 74%), while Almeria and Cadiz are close to 70%.
With regard to the supply of flights to Andalusia, a total of 2,316 flights are expected to arrive at the community’s airports for Easter (from 10 to 17 April), for which almost 400,000 seats have been offered, a very similar figure to that of 2019 (-4%). Specifically, the Almeria aerodrome offers more than 10,500 seats during these days.
By markets, in Andalusia there has been an increase in the number of seats available from national airports, as well as from some countries such as Holland, Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal. With regard to flights from traditional issuers (United Kingdom, France and Germany), the availability of seats is somewhat lower than in 2019. However, they maintain their weight with respect to the total volume, with 34% of the seats offered.
The companies that move more passengers in the community, Ryanair and Vueling (together they provide half of the air supply to Andalusia in these dates), have put on sale more seats than before the crisis.
Expectations for employment
All this will translate into employment. Already in March, Social Security affiliates in the hotel and catering sector exceeded 268,000, a figure that for the first time in 25 months exceeds the number of workers in the sector recorded before the pandemic.
Andalusia is also the autonomous tourism community with the highest year-on-year growth compared to the pre-crisis record, while it is up 27% compared to 2021, seven points above the national average.