Travel agencies are confident that Easter will be the starting point for the recovery in the region, which they expect to consolidate in 2024. This will be the year in which companies return to the same billing as in 2019, according to Marty Sarrate, president of Acave, which brings together more than 450 entities.
The Corporate Association of Specialized Travel Agencies has just conducted a survey among its members, in which it has been reported that travel agencies have registered between 40% and 50% increase in their reservations for Easter over the same period of 2021 , which is good news. , Sarate highlighted. Especially since the consumer is planning their vacation more than 30 days in advance, giving these companies more room to maneuver. Even 42% of agencies appreciate an increase of more than 50%.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has slowed reserves in recent weeks, admits Sarte, who hopes they will be reactivated at the last minute, as has become customary in Spain. 79 percent of the companies surveyed accepted it, while 11 percent saw no change. 10% of agencies say they are facing trip cancellations, but they barely reach 10% of total reservations.
The most contracting destinations for Easter are the Canary Islands, Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands. Although Spanish cities are also being revived and rural tourism is still thriving. Abroad, Spanish tourists prefer European capitals and destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
With regard to international travellers, Acave sees a 30% or 40% increase in Easter bookings. Clients from France, the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries will be the ones who arrive in Spain the most these days. 59% of agencies believe war is affecting the low rate of growth in travel. In 28% of companies, an increase in cancellations is observed, which is also related to the increase in prices.
This increase, on a day when inflation is known to set a record high of 9.8% in March, worries companies grouped in Acave the most. The prices of holiday packages are going to go up, assured the president of the association, which expects an increase of between 10% and 12% to allow tourists to spend less on their trips. “It is possible that people reduce their budget because of rising prices”, the president believes.
He knows all the sides of the coin deeply.
Although the prospects for Easter are good, Marty Sarrate recalls that the pre-pandemic figures are still far from the figures recorded in 2019. Notably, travel agencies aim for reservations to be between 60% and 70% below pre-Covid levels. And, in that sense, it considers the government-approved RED mechanism to be sufficient for travel agencies, who still have 28% of their workforce in ERTE.