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Greece and Spain record impressive surge in hotel bookings

Greece and Spain record impressive surge in hotel bookings

80% of hoteliers have reported more bookings this year than in 2020

A collection of small independent hotels focusing on the Mediterranean region (The Boutique Vibe) has released its second quarterly report of the 2021 Boutique Hotel Barometer. This report is a breath of fresh air as its findings show that bookings are on the rise once more.

More specifically, 64% of hoteliers have said that their bookings are “better” or “much better” than in the same period last year. What is more, only 15% have shared that their bookings are “worse” or “much worse”. This percentage has decreased significantly, from 82% in the first quarter of 2021.

Greece and Spain record fastest recovery

The Boutique Vibe focuses exclusively on the tourist destinations of the Mediterranean region, namely Greece, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Spain, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and Albania. Now, the April-July report shows that Greece and Spain are recovering faster than average. In particular, approximately 80% of hoteliers in these countries shared that booking levels are higher than last year’s.

Taking a look at other countries, the second quarterly report found that France and Italy seem to be struggling more than anticipated; that is, over 50% of hoteliers have seen booking levels close to or less than those in 2020.

A return to normal

According to the new publication, the beginning of this year filled many with optimism. With time, this optimism has only grown further as 52% of hoteliers now forecast a “positive” or “very positive” future.

Moreover, only 1 in 5 hoteliers believes that the future may be more challenging. It is important to highlight that those who anticipate a difficult season ahead are mostly hoteliers from France, Italy, and Morocco (destinations that are currently struggling).

The top business concern at the moment is still the recovery of the global economy, with 1 in 3 hoteliers reporting it as a “top challenge”. However, other concerns lead one to believe that business is gradually returning to normal. In other words, hoteliers have also begun to address the overall rise of costs (16%), distribution costs (6%), and threats of new trends in accommodation (8%).

During the pandemic, many hoteliers were forced to make significant cuts. According to the first quarterly report, there was a 53% reduction in staff. Now, this percentage has dropped to 40. This indicates that hoteliers are once again looking to hire staff as bookings begin to increase.

Investing in the future

Many business owners used the pandemic to invest in their properties. Furthermore, many have said that they will continue to do so as 33% will proceed with property renovations, 26% will upgrade their websites, 20% will increase their marketing spend, and 12% will invest in new back-office systems. Finally, 61% have stated that they will consider making investments in the future, with 41% planning minor changes and 20% seeking major renovations.

It must be noted that the second quarterly report has also found that sustainability is a key concern as 66% of hoteliers seek to reduce energy output, 59% will promote local identity, and 58% want to reduce waste and pollution.

On the whole, these findings bode well for the future of the small and independent hotels in the Mediterranean region.  

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