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COVID-19 webinar summary: 5 key points on Mediterranean Europe, 23 April

We turned our attention to the Mediterranean for our European webinar on Thursday, 23 April. We provided updates on Spain and Portugal for the first time, as well as an update on Italy—all delivered by STR experts living in those parts of the world.

March brought RevPAR declines in Spain and Portugal

Year-to-date data for February 2020 showed that Spain and Portugal hotel performance was comparable to 2019. Portugal produced a minimal decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of 1.1%, while Spain’s 4.4% decline was driven by Barcelona (-17%)—all other STR-defined markets experienced growth. And then the COVID-19 epidemic reached the Iberian Peninsula in March, producing substantial declines across both markets, as seen below.

Hotel performance declines in March across Spain and Portugal

Forward demand: Spanish islands ahead of the key cities

As of 20 April, the Balearic and Canary Islands led the way for business on the books over the next 90 days. Future demand in these markets hovers around 30-40%, whereas Barcelona and Madrid find themselves in a 10-20% bracket.

Business on the book for hotels in Spain

However, analyzing pickup provides a clearer picture

Of course, this all depends on when we see the easing of lockdown measures and travel restrictions—given that the summer season is a peak period for Spanish tourism. The below image shows that cancellations in the short-term are driving pickup declines, and this could continue. As Javier Serrano discusses in the webinar recording, it is prudent to analyse the situation 90-plus days into the future.

Pickup for hotels in key Spanish markets

Unsurprisingly, Italy experienced huge declines in March

In Italy, 2020 started brightly, and January produced a 4.2% increase in RevPAR. As the COVID-19 outbreak began to affect the country, February saw a 14.0% decrease in the metric, before the lockdown measures and hotel closures of March led to a 92.8% decline on the previous year.

Italy hotel performance declines following COVID-19 outbreak

Help us launch Forward STAR in Italy

As Marco Malacrida discussed in the webinar, with your help and participation we can launch Forward STAR in Italy. Business on the books intelligence will not only help us all understand when recovery begins and provide much-needed context, it can be accessed for free when you submit your data. If you are interested, please email

Forward STAR participation in Italy