Spain's hospitality sector emerging from shadow of COVID-19
Rahul Pathak in Madrid
When talking about the economic fallout of the pandemic, few industries in Spain were hit harder than its hospitality sector.
When combined with tourism, both sectors generate over 12% of Spain's GDP. So a return to pre-pandemic levels of revenue for hospitality and by association, tourism will be vital for the country's economy going forward.
And that has been the overriding message of HIP Horeca 2022, the hospitality industry's largest professional trade fair.
Record attendance at HIP2022
After last year's low-key event, 2022 has seen over 25,000 visitors, more than 500 exhibitors, and 470 keynote speakers, making this edition the biggest ever.
"The key achievement is that in only one year we have recovered what we had before the pandemic," Event Director of HIP, Manel Bueno told CGTN Europe, "so it's quite important, and it shows how the sector is growing, changing and how it's going to be in the next year.”
Central to hospitality's recovery will be how an industry that has, in specific sectors, been very traditional can adapt to new technologies and innovations.
The digital future
The Digital Director of Hostelria De España David Dominguez said the hospitality sector had to move with the times, "we think the digitization of the sector is key. it will be increasingly important in how we manage demand for the industry, as well as for the economic success of our business model."
Industry experts believe that the hospitality sector will have to be patient before fully returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, the forecast is good with Spain's latest employment figures showing more jobs were created in the hospitality sector than any other.
A sure sign the industry could finally see itself emerge from the shadow of COVID-19.