City breaks aren’t as popular (yet) as beach getaways, but the hotelier still has some way to go to turn a profit after Omicron’s impact earlier in the year.
Spain’s Melia Hotels said on Wednesday its occupancy rates and revenue should recover to pre-pandemic levels in its resort hotels this year, amid a strong rebound in tourism after the lifting of most Covid-19 restrictions in Europe and America.
The Mallorca-based group expects to have better sales in 2022 than in 2019 in its resort hotels, helped by holidaymakers’ demand for roomier accommodation that boosts the average price of a stay. Meanwhile its urban destinations are forecast to bring in 13 percent less than before the pandemic.
“In all sales channels we are above 2019 (at the moment…) but the evolution is more positive in holiday hotels,” the Melia’s CEO Gabriel Escarrer told a news conference.
“Spain is one of the destinations that benefits most, as clients perceive that it is a safe haven,” Escarrer said, noting that the country is far away from the Ukraine conflict.
The hotel chain group reported last week that its first-quarter revenues more than tripled to $287 million from a year ago, but still posted a loss of $62.15 million, mainly due to the impact of cancellations caused by the Omicron variant earlier in the year.
Bookings have grown by double digits week-on-week since mid-February and the Easter holiday marked the way for a better rebound, the company told Reuters.
The company recorded a global price increase of 18 percent in its room tariffs during the Easter week.
The impact of the conflict in Ukraine has not strongly affected the movement of travellers and, according to the company, will not overshadow the expected recovery from the pandemic.
Last month, tourist arrivals in Spain were at 86 percent of 2019 levels, while its islands popular with holidaymakers hosted the same number of tourists as they did before the pandemic, thanks to the return of travellers from key markets Britain and Germany, the government said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Corina Pons in Madrid; editing by Belén Carreño and Philippa Fletcher)
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