Spain tourism sector faces consolidation – Barcelo


MADRID – Spain’s tourism sector will face further consolidation as structural problems and sharp falls in numbers of new visitors hit earnings, the co-chairman of the country’s third largest hotel group said.

“The sun and beach model isn’t exhausted, but with low profitability, companies are increasingly less able to act and, in the long term, we will pay,” Grupo Barcelo’s Simon Pedro Barcelo said in an interview in Expansion on Tuesday.

The number of tourists visiting Spain dropped 15.9 percent in February compared to a year earlier, the sharpest fall since the global economic crisis began.

Falling revenues in what is Spain’s second-largest industry would lead to consolidation among some hotel chains, he said.

“Medium-sized companies based in Spain of 15 to 20 hotels will have serious problems and will be obliged to look to the larger chains,” Barcelo said.

Shares in Spain’s major listed hotel groups rose sharply in early trade.