Tours to Spain are booked through online services instead of tour operators.
Tour operators say about 50% reduction of demand for tours to Spain, meanwhile online booking systems note growing interest for this destination among independent travelers.
"According to estimation of tour operators, the fall in demand for Spain for this season reaches 50%. Although, before the beginning of the season tour operators thought it will not exceed 30-40%," the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Irina Tyurina said.
So, Pegas Touristik reported about decline in sales by 50% compared to the last year. Even special offers from the Spanish hotels and the strengthening of the ruble could not change the situation . The tour packages are mostly booked at the last moment, almost before departure.
As it was reported earlier, most of the tour operators optimized their programs before the season. On average, the reduction of transportation to Spain was by 40%. But even optimization did not assist avoiding dumping.
At the same time, the number of individual travelers to Spain continues to grow. As online service Aviasales reported, growth in demand for Spain this season is about 15-20%, although already last year the popularity of destinations on Aviasales has doubled. "Demand is growing because of those users who switched from the concept of organized tourism for independent travel. And Barcelona is consistently on the top of sales among individual travelers", - the press-service of Aviasales reported.
According to Aviasales, in addition to Barcelona, the following Spanish resorts are popular among individual tourists: Alicante, Malaga, and Tenerife. At the same time, by the tour operators demand is concentrated in Catalonia, Costa Brava, and Costa Dorada. Package tours to Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca (Alicante province) are almost not presented on the market.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.