17 June 2024

The Hospitality sector, a driver of wealth and of the Spain Brand

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The hospitality sector employs 8.4% more professionals in the first quarter of 2024 and is forecast to exceed 13% of GDP this year.

In addition to its undeniable role in the social fabric of Spain, the hotel and catering industry is an important driver of the economy and a key player in the consolidation of the country as a world tourist power. This is shown by historical statistics and those of the sector in the first quarter of 2024, when the hotel and catering sector has reached 1,716,400 jobs, 8.4% more than in the same period of 2023, according to data from the Labour Force Survey.

In this context of growth, the catering segment has been the main driver with 10.2% more workers, while employment in the accommodation branch has had a more moderate growth of 2.4%.

Moreover, in global tourism terms, this industry has been responsible for 24.8% of the employment created during the first quarter of the current year and has exceeded 2.75 million professionals employed up to March, which represents a year-on-year increase of 7.7%.

New records forecast for 2024
Beyond its significant weight in the workforce, tourism is one of the main contributors to Gross Domestic Product. Thus, the Exceltur forecast is that in 2024 it will once again break its own records and generate more than 200,000 million euros of activity this year, which would mean contributing 13.3% to GDP.

This record is also exceeded in the volume of international visitors to Spain. After being the second most visited country in 2023 with the record of having received 85 million tourists, 2024 has also recorded the best start with 16 million visitors in the first quarter according to the National Statistics Institute, well above the 13.7 million of 2023 in the same period, with a 42% increase in tourist spending to reach 21,948 million euros.

Hospitality, the hallmark of the success of Spanish tourism
All these figures show that tourism is the country's main economic engine and a large part of its success as a receiving market lies in the unique offer that the hospitality sector provides. From its hotel plant, where investment in innovation and modernisation stands out and in which Spain is ahead of countries such as Italy, the United Kingdom or France with 370 luxury accommodations by the end of 2023, to its restaurants and lively bars that are signs of identity, all of this is an attraction and a motivation for the tourists who come.
With the aim of continuing to promote excellence in the hotel and catering industry, its economic weight and business success, GUEXT is holding its first edition from 18 to 21 October at IFEMA MADRID. In collaboration with FELAC (Spanish Federation of Associations of Manufacturers of Machinery for the Hospitality and Allied Industries), the new show will bring together the entire range of suppliers and services to boost connectivity with the distribution network and give visibility to the entire value chain. A key professional event held in the right place at the right time, with the aim of serving as a specialised commercial instrument at the service of the hospitality industry.