We have observed how the year 2022 began with a positive recovery with a considerable increase in the number of overnight stays in March 2022 versus March 2021, although not at the same pre-pandemic level it was a positive development despite the omicron variant (see graph 1).
In the midst of the post-COVID-19 recovery period of the main international airports (TIER1 and TIER2) with regards to their connectivity, traffic and air capacity and also taking into consideration predictions from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) up to end of 2022; an optimistic scenario where international air traffic will recover 73% and domestic traffic 95% and a pessimistic scenario where recovery will be 58% and 56% respectively. Impacting the above, the outbreak of the Ukraine-Russia war may jeopardize the recovery of international tourism demand due to the application of lasting sanctions such as the closure of airspace that will affect the mobility and connectivity of tourists from the main source markets, bound for Spain.
We must not lose sight of the fact that in 2019, 1.3 million Russian tourists arrived in Spain (1.57% of the total international tourists that Spain received) contributing 1,992 million euros to the tourism sector (www.statista. com, 2022). Destinations dependent on the Russian market to a greater or lesser extent, such as Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, faced with a potential scenario in which the arrival of Russian tourists will fall, will weigh down the operating accounts of multiple hotel establishments, resorts, tourist apartments, residences, etc. In such circumstances of uncertainty and with no sign of improvement in the short term, at Maestros Hoteleros we recommend that management/managers and owners with high exposure to the Russian market do not stop devoting efforts to learning about the environment and strengthening their business in in order to attract customers from other markets. To this end, we recommend the following lines of action:
• Predictive analysis of the destination to identify present and future demand based on its geographical location, which allows the design of highly optimized marketing campaigns on metasearch engines.
• Analysis of air capacity to the reference destination.
• Analysis of the audience and their behavior, having access to key information regarding followers as well as their segmentation by age and gender.
• Measure and control the evolution of followers over time in each social network and by channel.
• Measure and evaluate the online reputation of the reference destination.
• Measure the impact and interactions of each publication as well as their analysis and geolocation.
• Benchmarking of follow-up of other destinations to detect campaigns and growth of fans and search trend of the reference destination.
• Review and update your technological infrastructure: the following figure (see figure 2) represents the important tools that allow you to understand the markets you are targeting, analyze your competitors and position yourself accordingly in the market.
Important considerations when reviewing or updating these tools are: market trend analysis, e-commerce strategies, increased speed in terms of connectivity and real-time inventory updating, customer segmentation, loyalty programs, experience management of the client, accessibility and generation of an organized and nourished database.
• Analyze your historical data by performing a deep dive into the main KPI's of your business, such as evolution of the average sale price (ARR), revenue per available room (RevPar) and occupancy rate (ORR) among others.
• Detect hidden revenue opportunities by identifying areas for improvement by working to reduce the potential gap between your supply and market demand.
• Combine all these tools to a higher level, which will allow you greater control of online distribution, a high level of reconversion in direct and indirect reservations and, most importantly, greater knowledge of the customer.
Figure 2. Technological infrastructure. Source: Maestros Hoteleros
• Connect all the departments of your hotel/resort through technological systems, achieving greater operational efficiency and increasing customer satisfaction.
• Ongoing training for all the organization's staff, increasing their level of professionalism because, ultimately, a happy and satisfied customer is the greatest asset.
In short, we hope that despite the uncertainties and risks on the horizon, we will collaborate together so that Spain is once again the favorite destination in the short to medium term with more than 80 millions tourist arrivals per year.