Spain still has room to grow in luxury tourism

By: News Team

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Spain still has room to grow in luxury tourism

Spain still has room to grow as a luxury tourism destination and position itself among the great European references, for which it is necessary to train employees, among other attributes, according to the owner and CEO of the luxury travel agency Plenia Travel, Paulo Ribeiro.

In an interview with EFE, Ribeiro explains that higher-class hotels will lower their prices in 2023 and points out that the upper middle class has “difficulties” to continue traveling at the level they did before the pandemic.

At the same time, he explains that North American citizens have saved high-level tourism after the pandemic, which has been reactivated in a special way in the second half of this year, to the point that the figures for December 2022 were already at levels similar to those of 2019.


Luxury tourism in Spain has a lot of room for growth, especially if you look at the average spending figures, which here stand at 860 euros per person; in Paris and London, around 2,000 euros, and in Italy, at 6,000 euros, according to figures from the Luxury Association Círculo Fortuny.

The recovery of spending, says the CEO of Plenia, is the key to positioning itself next to the big destinations, and for this there are elements that help, such as the growing strength of the restoration or the implementation of hotels of the most exclusive chains in the world.

However, “the great challenge is to offer sufficient services” and logistical capacity, in addition to training, “which is not easy in luxury hotels” to be at the level of Paris and London, the two great references of luxury in Europe.


In 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, the destinations most demanded by Plenia customers were Maldives, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Middle East. As restrictions began to relax and countries opened borders, preferences shifted to Thailand, Bali, Polynesia and Japan.

In the post-pandemic months, North American tourists saved luxury tourism, who are the ones who traveled around the world and kept prices high.

For the full recovery of tourism, says Ribeiro, it is necessary for airlines to replenish all flights, because customers want to fly directly, non-stop.

The profile of the tourist with a high budget to travel has not changed because he continues to ask for unique experiences, travel in private or first class planes, luxury hotels, private visits to museums … But it does detect that the upper middle class has more difficulty making this type of trip than in 2019.

It is because after the pandemic the prices of hotels and flights have risen well above what inflation has: if then a flight to Dubai in “business” class cost 4,000 euros, now it rises to 6,000, he explains.

But the rise in prices that hotels have experienced “is going to normalize”, in his opinion, “because in the world of luxury there are more hotels than customers”.

As an example, he points out that Madrid has more and more luxury hotels, “which will have to stabilize prices because today they are double what they were in 2019”, although in the capital of Spain the cost of a luxury room is cheaper than in London or Paris due to the difference in purchasing power parity, Says.


Plenia aspires to return to invoice around five million euros in 2023, at levels similar to those before covid, although now the perimeter is different because the agency has been reorganized and is only dedicated to private tourism and not corporate as it did before.

In December 2022 it already managed to place its numbers at the same values of that month of 2019 but the whole year was weak especially because the first semester was bad for tourism in general due to the last wave of covid around the world.

The agency was born in 2012 but Ribeiro joined two years ago. It does not have offices at street level because everything is done online and in direct relationship with the client, for which they have a team of 18 travel advisors spread throughout Europe.

It is a member of Virtuoso -which brings together the best five-star hotels in the world (Mandarin, Four Seasons, Rosewood among others) and the best luxury agencies, among which there are only five Spanish- and of Vita By Leading Hotels of the World, consortiums that are only accessed by invitation.

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