Uncertain. The word that defined the world economy in 2022 was also part of the tourism discourse, which saw how every wind in favor of opening borders could slow down its recovery after the pandemic. But when it is assumed that the possible recession, which was talked about months ago, will not come, the big players in the country have entered a new period of moderate euphoria, with the good economic results of hotels, restaurants or airlines.
A few are bluntly going ahead and saying clearly that 2023 will be more successful. This is the case of Ricardo Fernández, CEO of the online agency Destinia, which achieved the best result in its 22-year history, with a turnover of 190 million dollars. He attributed this fact to “doing the right things” and to changes in behavior: “In the first months, there was a lot of euphoria, but the savings disappeared. Later, it seemed that the journey was made primarily for people. Who can have much more than leisure and happiness, who can have you deprived “, he says in an interview with La información.
A large number of tourists to the world
In his opinion, 2023 will be “the best year in history” for world tourism, and this will be reflected in the GDP generated by this sector throughout the planet. “These two years we had in Europe were almost all good, and it was like that while Asia was closed. Now their numbers are starting to go up, the numbers you see are absolutely wild, so I’m sure it’s going to be the best year in terms of tourism.”
This euphoria will not be the same in all countries or abroad, he points out, because when Asia sees a boom, there can be thrifts that show some decline in private figures. “The citizens of South America and North Africa are working. In Britain, Germany or France, which could withdraw, they will not resist the aid in time.” In fact, Spain believes that “it will be a good year” according to the data available for the first six months of the year. Employers have estimated the growth of travel business this year at 7.1%.
A good rhythm is achieved, in his opinion, due to the positive development of economic indicators: “The macro environment was not much for us. Savings have decreased, but not much work has been lost and the recession has not really been marked. Inflation, which was very high, was also higher in the average price of accommodation for many places, and even so, the book continued,” he explains. Its figures registered an increase in the average price per night between 23 and 25% higher than those of 2019, an estimate that pays in what it calls “soft landing” prices.
All reserved for Easter
The foreseeable decline is due to the greater progress with which consumers are booking their trips. “Last year we were still unprepared and at the last minute everything was booked. This year the pre-season is much bigger, the percentage of reservations in Easter and summer has grown a lot and is driving prices”, although he warns that it will be affected by the continuation of labor costs, food or energy.
With regard to the rate of reservations, Fernández indicates that the trip during Easter will be very complicated because “almost everything is already reserved” because of the tourism. For summer, there are still “many opportunities” to choose from depending on the destination. In addition to the retraction of China and the return of the Spaniards to Asian places like Thailand or Indonesia, his bet goes through Albania, “a very interesting area where a lot is being built and that can be taken at all levels. very competitive and connected to Spain”.
Destiny went on to grow by 20%
Destiny’s goal for 2023 will continue to grow. This year, the challenge is to make it by 20%. “It is essential for us. We want to try to exceed 220 million in the turn, when we have already stopped thinking about that figure because it is so impacted by inflation. We want to improve reserves by 20% and sell more by 20%.” Another challenge is to increase its presence outside Spain: “Before the pandemic, 60% of our auctions were here. Now they are 39% and the idea is that it continues to drop.” In order to do that, the source of their rich markets will be known as Britain, Germany, France or the United States of America, they will have to increase the weight of sales in geographies by sum.
Currently, Destinia sells in 95 countries with a website that is available in 24 languages and 33 different currencies. It has 207 employees and they hope to increase this figure by 15%, although the lack of talent in the industry, which affects both the technological side and the work or service side, could reduce their plans. He is not afraid of competition from Airbnb, “a new player that has recently entered the market and has grown rapidly”, because its presence is “better for consumption and for the market”. “Even though it has a relatively simple process on a technological level, it is a very well-crafted product that shows that you can become an extremely relevant player and grow without limits if you do it well,” explains Fernández.
The executive interprets this success because, sometimes, the tourism industry “confuses what is most difficult when it is valuable”. His plans by “continuing to give value to the customer” are trying to bring about new trends in his business: “Metaversion is not working. The blockchain’ as a technology applied to the rest of the business processes does not add value. To the customer. What it does is that you continue to have the best product, that is very easy for the customer, very fast, competitive, and a very good service, implementing things like a local medium of money, that is. good prices, because they will take good care of you and pick up the phone … 90% of customers want a good product and good service”, he concludes.