Spain gets more expensive. Or does it?
Yes and no!
There may have been some increases in taxes but this year, Spain is a really good bet for a holiday that will be no more expensive – and maybe cheaper – than last year.
We British and Irish are flocking to Spain. TV shows like Benidorm make it widely covered and all of us know someone who can wax lyrically about the warmth, sunshine and facilities.
But there are some glitches. The government, in its quest for more money, raised airport departure tax as from 1st July and made it retrospective. If you had already booked a holiday or flight before that date then you will still have to pay unless your holiday company or airline was willing to absorb the costs. Ryanair – why is CD-Traveller not surprised – has e-mailed all its bookers that they will be debiting their credit cards. At least it has said those not willing to accept the tax will have the opportunity to cancel their bookings and receive a full refund.
But they will be banking on the fact that passengers will consider it a hassle and just live with it. Like the Spanish government will hope the same happens.
From Wednesday, August 1,the VAT equivalent tax also rises. Food and drink tax rises to 10% and most of the rest rises from 18-21%. Will we care? According to research from Greenlight in their most recent Holiday Sectors Report, the most searched for term used when looking for holidays online was “cheap holidays.” During May, there were 2.7 million searches that it monitored and a fifth – 540,000 – looked for cheap holidays.
We’ll still go to Spain this year because the fall in the euro against the pound makes it attractive. But when we get there we might notice it a tad more expensive. Probably though it will still seem cheap compared to the last two years when the euro was stronger than it is now. And now the Spanish tourism businesses need us more than ever. On the website, Benidorm All Year Round, it has pointed out that Spanish hoteliers and restaurant owners are doing well as we are flocking there. The people who aren’t coming are the Spanish! Trivago reported that Benidorm is still the number one destination for UK tourists in July and August using their site closely followed by Barcelona and Salou. In fact, out of the top 50 destinations that were searched on the site, half were Spanish.
The Spanish government and the tourist board will be hoping the slide in the euro doesn’t make us aware of those rises and that will continue to go there in big numbers during the winter and next year as well. As long as the euro stays weak, they shouldn’t have to worry.
UPDATE: 31 July. Lisa Minot, the Travel Editor of The Sun yesterday said that Spain was on its knees and benodorm was being “abandoned” by us Brits. That doesn’t seem to fit in with the occupancy rates of the hotels, the comments from Irena on her website, Benidorm All Year Round and the local tourist bureau was quick to point this out. Still it was The Sun wot said it! Say no more.