The 2021 summer season will be marked by fewer restrictions and more tourist offerings. Still far from the normality of before the pandemic, Catalans are preparing for the summer with optimism.
The vaccinated population in Catalonia is expected to reach 70% in July. This, added to the European passport that will speed up travel between European countries, and the progressive opening of ports, airports and cruise traffic, defines a new tourist panorama in which both supply and demand are increasing significantly.
What will summer 2021 be like?
With the prospect of recovering the economic activity lost with Covid-19, the Catalan Government and the Catalan Tourism Agency expect to recover 50% of tourism. In fact, according to a study, 75% of Spaniards will travel this summer, and 66.4% will do so within Spain.
The most popular options are still sun and beach destinations (41.7%), followed by rural or nature (26.3%) and culture (14.1%), figures that do not vary between Spanish and Catalan citizens. However, mobility will continue to be marked by social distancing and capacity limits in enclosed spaces.
Fewer restrictions and more spending
Last summer Catalans spent 42% less on holidays, according to data from Cetelem. The average per person stood at €1,294 in 2019, a figure that fell to €754 in 2020. Given the outlook for the tourism sector, spending is expected to rise again, in a summer with more freedom of movement.
Bars and restaurants that are now open, the resumption of cultural activities, the revitalisation of national and international tourism and, above all, the increase in vaccination, which reduces social fear, will be key factors that will accelerate the economic recovery.
Tourism trends that will mark this summer
More nature, proximity and conscious tourism. Spending a summer in the middle of the pandemic showed that organising leisure and holiday plans is compatible with keeping a low budget or carrying out outdoor activities. Adaptation was forced, in some cases, but the response can be translated into the consolidation of an increasingly diversified tourism sector.
Cetelem found in its study that over the course of 2020, accommodation in hotels and flats has fallen from 52% to 34% in Spain, while stays in private or acquaintance accommodation have risen by 16 points.
In this line, new tourist accommodations are relying on originality and contact with nature through a wide variety of proposals, from tree cabins, bubble hotels, catamaran routes or glamping, a new style of glamorous camping that bets on new designs such as tipis or large tents, always in contact with nature. Motorhome and van trips have also skyrocketed in the last year, and the figures speak for themselves: 12% of people who had not planned to buy a motorhome will do so after the pandemic.
Far from shutting themselves up in a hotel or returning to mass tourism, consumers are looking for new destinations that offer them security and freedom. Once again this year, creativity when planing our holidays will be the great ally in adapting to the new circumstances.