8 Key Questions to Unlock Your Hotel’s Potential in the Spanish Market

Is Spain a Market Worth Focusing on and What Strategies Work Best for Success?

With the substantial growth anticipated in Spanish outbound travel & tourism in the coming years, the prospect of targeting or expanding into this market might be on your radar.

However, it is crucial to assess your market positioning comprehensively to ensure that it aligns with the growing demand. Have you thoroughly examined and validated your market position for optimal sellability? Or in other words, does your hotel align with the preferences and demands of Spanish customers, taking into account current trends and the profile of travelers in this market?

We are excited to provide you with valuable insights to help you understand the viability of your hotel in the Spanish market.


Global Power of the Spain Economy: Here are some statistics.

With a population of 47.2 million people and a robust, diversified economy that stands resilient, Spain holds the 14th position globally in terms of economic size and ranks as the fourth largest in the European Union. Akin to their European counterparts, Spanish holidaymakers are expected to seek good value experiences, with the influence of the cost of living continuing to shape spending behavior.

In 2023, Spain recorded a total of 26.46 million outbound trips, signaling a notable resurgence compared to previous years.The projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for international departures is anticipated to exceed 6% from 2023 to 2027.

Spanish travelers express a preference for cultural holidays, surpassing the global average of 33%. This underscores the keen interest of Spanish travelers in exploring new destinations, immersing themselves in diverse cultures, and engaging with local customs. Among Spanish travelers, those aged between 50 and 64 demonstrate the highest level of engagement in travel activities.

The largest market is the Package Holidays sector, which is projected to have a market volume of US$13.68bn in 2024 ( Global Data).

The segment of Luxury and premium travelers is projected to grow at a rate of 6.2%, surpassing the overall tourism increase of 4.2% over the next decade.

Spain is currently the 11th biggest business travel market globally with a total spend of 16.7 USD billion during 2022, increasing by 67% during the year.

Let’s formulate some questions:

Is your destination appealing to Spanish tourists?

There is an increasing demand for destinations that prioritize sustainability and offer a more secluded and uncrowded experience, especially in the last three to four years.

  • Spain ranks as the fourth country with the highest number of sustainable travelers. Ensure the incorporation of your environmental initiatives and policies into your advertising efforts to resonate with this environmentally conscious audience.
  • Spanish tourists are drawn to cultural experiences, gastronomy, and active tourism offerings.
  • The (good) climate also plays a role.
  • Proximity and excellent connectivity to the destination are crucial, especially for weekend getaways and short holiday escapes
  • Alternate accommodations such as apart-hotels, country hotels, ryokans, campings, resorts, and ships are increasing in popularity.
  • Premium experiences , eco-friendly are on rising demand
  • Solo travel & short trips are growing so destinations and hotels offering activities and benefits to this segment would get more chances to be booked.

Is your destination well-connected to major Spanish cities?

Within the leisure and group segment of travelers, connections remain the paramount consideration, surpassing all other factors.

The top 10 traveling countries from Spain are France Italy, Portugal, UK, US, Morocco, Ireland , Netherlands and Turkey* ( Statista 2023) eventhough there are also developing countries such as Bulgary, Mexico and Thailand that are gaining demand.

To designate Spain as a primary target market, start by identifying direct routes connecting your destination to major Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, or Palma. Be mindful of secondary airports with seasonal flights to meet specific demand periods.

For Spanish leisure operators, the decisions to include a hotel in their short break programs are often influenced by fare costs and the availability of direct connections. Therefore, when setting targets, it’s essential to consider metrics tailored to this segment.

Considering the proximity of European countries, evaluate the significance of highway connections and train services, to main cities in Spain recognizing their crucial role in accessibility.

Lastly, assess whether your destination can effectively cater to the increasing demand for road trip holidays in Spain. Emphasize features that appeal to road trip travelers, contributing to the overall attractiveness of your destination.

Lower fares and growing sustainability considerations mean more people are choosing rail over air travel.

How does your hotel align with the location preferences of Spanish travelers?

Spanish travelers often prioritize location and price when choosing accommodations. Location holds significant importance, especially for guests seeking economy and mid-scale options. Guest experience is becoming increasingly crucial, sometimes surpassing the importance of central location for certain types of travelers. Ensuring the right technology is in place is essential to understand guest preferences from their initial interaction.

Highlight the appealing amenities in the vicinity, including bars, restaurants, shopping areas, museums, and key tourist attractions. 

Spanish travelers prefer accommodations situated in city centers, where the vibrant energy and activities are concentrated, particularly for short getaways or weekend breaks.

Present them on an interactive map. Additionally, underscore factors such as proximity to metro stations and convenient transport connections in case you are not walking distance to city center. Shuttle service options are always very appreciated.

How are your dining options?

  • A conducted study indicates that for 69% of Spaniards, breakfast is the most critical criterion when choosing a hotel, significantly impacting their overall satisfaction during the stay.
  • It is advisable to include breakfast in the room rate and extend its availability until late morning.
  • Ensure that breakfast products are well-labeled, providing comprehensive information, and consider offering language translations for the convenience of Spanish travelers. Consider including some spanish items in breakfast options, such as Spanish jam or a Spanish omelette, both of which are very typical choices.
  • One in four Spanish travelers is influenced by the gastronomy offerings of the destination.
  • The Spanish “culinary traveler” represents a highly valuable travel segment.
  • Provide information on visits to wineries and gastronomic markets, the purchase of local products, or participation in gastronomic events.
  • Detail your collaboration with food suppliers using a blockchain platform to track and monitor the entire food supply chain.
  • Ensure that your offerings encompass a diverse array of local and traditional products, as well as ecological and dietary options to contribute to a satisfying experience for your guests.
  • To appeal to Spanish travelers, emphasize your hotel’s unique food and beverage (F&B) offerings that resonate with their culinary preferences, such as featuring a “tapas bar” in your outlets or promoting Spanish dishes on your menu.
  • Highlight your engagement with the local community and commitment to supporting local suppliers, which holds particular significance for Spanish families or friends groups who value participation in local activities during their travels.

How would you communicate with the potential Spanish travelers?

Spain ranks 33rd globally in English proficiency (EF EPI 2021), emphasizing the uniqueness of each market. Spanish travelers generally express a higher interest in communications delivered in their native language. Recognizing language as the key communication link between your customers and your hotel, effective communication involves connecting with them in their local language for a more meaningful engagement.

If you have Spanish-speaking staff at the hotel, don’t hesitate to mention and highlight this valuable asset.

Consider providing collateral and marketing content in the local language, ensuring that the messaging accurately conveys the intended information. This approach can create a positive impact on the perception of your hotel.

Consult with a native expert to review your website and ensure that your content is not lost in translation.

How does your offering cater to the primary interests of Spanish target groups?

  • Understanding the preferences of Spanish traveler groups is crucial for offering accurate and tailor-made services and promotions.
  • 48% of Spanish travelers seek relaxation, while 40% are looking to escape from their daily routine.
  • Among the factors attracting Spanish tourists, culture takes the lead, followed by gastronomy and entertainment.
  • Family tourism in Spain constitutes 94% of the total spending on international travel.
  • Anticipate that, by 2025, 70% of travel will be undertaken by individuals aged between 30-64.
  •  Ensure that your information is updated and reflects your hotel own measurements on sustainability initiatives as this is becoming incresingly important in a hotel’s decision-making process for Spanish travelers. Provide clear tangible samples.

Is all the pertinent information about your hotel and destination available on your website, and is it presented in Spanish for potential clients?

  • In 2021, hotel websites in Spain successfully surpassed Expedia to claim the number 2 ranking for end -consumer hotel bookings.*
  • Over one-third of Spanish holiday shoppers prefer online platforms.**
  • Price is a critical selection element for Spaniards, mainly for series groups & leisure groups.
  • Showcase high-quality images and videos.
  • Present destination information that is both relevant and appealing to Spanish customers including for instance temporary museum exhibitions, festival & events calendar or wine and gastronomy tours.
  • Offering your website in Spanish is crucial, as a majority of Spanish-speaking potential clients may navigate away if it’s not available

If you like the ideas and would like to get more insights on how to position and grow in the Spanish market, based on your segment mix, just contact us.

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