Vitoria (EFE).- The sightseeing grows in the Basque Country in summer, more specifically in July and August, by 14% compared to the same months of 2019, the last pre-pandemic summer.
In concrete terms, Basque hotels welcomed 780,797 people, compared to 685,117 in the summer of 2019 and 649,848 last year (+20.1%).
Overnight stays between July and August this year, 1,605,078, were 8.9% higher than in 2019 and 18.9% higher than last year.
Hotel occupancy rates over this period also show the recovery in activity in these establishments, standing at 75.2% measured by beds and 83% by rooms.
By province, the room occupancy rate reached 87.8% in Gipuzkoa during the months of July and August, 78.6% in Álava and 80.3% in Vizcaya.
Good data in August
The cumulative data for the two summer months comes after hotel tourist arrivals in August approached 400,000, up 11.2% from the same month last year.
Specifically, tourist arrivals reached 397,611, a figure even higher than those recorded in the same month of 2019, before the covid, when there were 357,035.
Overnight stays, 839,058, also recorded a year-on-year increase of 7.5% and exceeded those of the last pre-pandemic year, when 780,269 were made.
49% of total arrivals and 45.1% of overnight stays in August 2022 were of foreign origin, figures that greatly exceed the 31.2% and 27% they represented in August 2021 and also, to a lesser extent, those observed in August 2019, when 47.9% of arrivals and 43.5% of overnight stays were of foreign origin.
Vizcaya: most visited territory
14.1% of entries into hotel establishments in August 2022 were recorded in Álava, Biscay 47.2% and Gipuzkoa 38.7%.
As regards overnight stays, in Álava 105,370 were made, or 12.6% of the total; in Bizkaia 387,828, 46.2% of the total, and in Gipuzkoa 345,860, 41.2%.
The increases in arrivals and overnight stays compared to the same month of the previous year have not been homogeneous in each territory, reports this Wednesday the Basque Institute of Statistics-Eustat.
In terms of admissions, Bizkaia achieved an annual increase of 17.3%, Álava 13% and Gipuzkoa 3.9%. In the case of overnight stays, the interannual variations were 9.8% in Bizkaia, 7.4% in Álava and 5% in Gipuzkoa.
By capital, tourists increased by 18.4% in Bilbao, 14.9% in Vitoria and 3.6% in San Sebastián. Likewise, the increase in overnight stays reached 11.6% in Bilbao, 9.3% in Vitoria and 5.3% in San Sebastián.
Lower the average stay
Despite these good data, the average stay for the month of August 2022 was 2.11 days in the Basque Country as a whole, lower than that obtained for the same month of 2021 which was 2.18 days.
The occupancy rate reached 78.4% in number of beds and 85.3% in number of rooms. Compared to August 2021, the increases were 1.3 and 2.7 percentage points respectively.
The values presented for the occupancy rates in August 2019 have been practically recovered, which were 79.6% per beds and 84.9% per rooms.
Thus, the tourism sector in the Basque Country is recovering and growing by 14% in summer compared to that of 2019, the last before the pandemic.
Written by Julien Black
Edited by Elena Puerta