Spain Outbound - November 2013
The Spanish outbound market is going through a turbulent period, mirroring the state of the Spanish economy. For much of the Noughties, Spain experienced strong economic prosperity and outbound travel prospered. Spanish consumers embraced the opportunity to travel overseas, as jobs and incomes improved. Simultaneously, the creation of online travel agencies and low-cost airlines led to cheaper deals and an expanding number of flight destinations to choose from. Quickly, Spaniards came to see holidays as a necessity, not just a luxury and the annual vacation abroad a must-have.
The tides turned in 2009, when the impact of the global recession hit Spain hard, forcing it into a deep recession and outbound trips into decline. Austerity measures introduced following 2009 hit consumers and industry hard, causing strikes and consumer discontent. At the same time, unemployment reached new highs, reaching over 25% among Spanish adults and over 50% among young adults.
In the year 2012, Spain’s economy suffered its most difficult year, resulting in an 8.7% decline in outbound trips. Even large travel agencies, which had managed to navigate the difficult economic climate up until now, witnessed declining revenues in 2012, and this has led to a series of high-profile bankruptcies in the travel and tourism industry. By contrast, online travel agencies (OTAs) have become growth agents in a difficult marketplace, offering travellers the chance to find cheap deals and compare prices.
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