Executive summary: effects of the COVID-19 crisis Destination: SPAIN

Evolution of total tourist mentions vs Coronavirus mentions

Spontaneous tourist mentions* on Social Media between 01/02/2020 and 13/04/2020

The first relevant impact on tourist mentions* on Social Media related to the crisis for Spain as a destination was seen on the 25th February. This intensified from the 8th March onwards, reaching peak level on the 14th, coinciding with the day the State of Alarm was announced. During peak level, around 10.6% of tourist mentions expressively referred to the Coronavirus crisis. From then on, the trend eased slightly over time, although levels remained around 7% in the second week of April.

*Tourist mentions collected from Twitter during the established timeframe. Tourist mentions are understood as all mentions made on Social Media by users who refer to a visit or the intention to visit the destination. All mentions related to media outlets, sport events, commercial use, spam and local users are discarded.

Evolution of the Perception of Security Index for Spain

Spontaneous tourist mentions* on Social Media between 01/02/2020 and 13/04/2020

From the 14th March onwards, a sharp drop of the Perception of Security Index (PSI*) can be seen for Spain as a destination. From that date onwards, the drop in this index at a global level is continuous, dropping approximately 18% between the 1st February and the 13th April. By origin market, the three markets that stand out the most in terms of sensitivity are the French market (-61% PSI), the German market (-51% PSI) and the British market (-70% PSI) when comparing the perceived confidence shown at the beginning of February and on the 13th April. On the other hand, the Italian market shows a more stable level of confidence, above the global average.

*Perception of Security Index (PSI): this index is calculated on the basis of semantic analysis of tourist mentions on Social Media (Instagram and Twitter) related to security events (theft, fights, terrorist attacks, health crisis, etc.).

Evolution of demand towards Spain: Flight Searches

Searches carried out between the 1st February and the 10th April 2020 vs 2019 to visit Spain on any future date.

Top 15 destination airports in Spain. 72 origin markets.

Source: GDS

The evolution of spontaneous flight searches to visit Spain suffered a sudden change of trends around the 10th March. From that day onwards, the year-over-year variation of the total flight searches registered drops continuously until beginning of April where it starts to stabilise, albeit with no signs of recovery. On the 10th April, the year-over-year comparison of flight searches shows an 87% drop.

Analysis per origin market

Flight searches carried out between 01/03/2020 and 10/04/2020 to travel to Spain between 01/06/2020 and 30/06/2020

United Kingdom

When taking a closer look at the British market’s interest in visiting Spain, a downward change of trend can clearly be seen from 10th March onwards, which intensifies in the first days of April. By travel date, for the month of June, the trend remains below June 2019’s trend throughout the whole month, without any big differences shown on any given day. The average advance search increased by approximately 7% in comparison to 2019.


In terms of the Spanish market, flight searches to travel in Spain show clear signs of being below the figures for the previous year throughout the whole timeframe studied, and more specifically since the beginning of April. By travel date, although demand is lower than that registered for 2019, the variation seems to lessen in the last days of June. The average advance search increased by approximately 5.5% in comparison to 2019.


For the German market, despite demand being lower than previous year throughout the whole search period, the year-over-year variation is not as sharp as it is for the British and Spanish markets. By travel date in June, some small indications of recovery can be observed towards the end of the month when comparing to 2019. The average advance search shows signs of stability in the year-over-year comparison.


The Italian market is the market which shows the most substantial differences in demand to travel to Spain from the beginning of the search period studied. The downward trend starts to exarcebate in mid-March and continues to do so in the beginning of April. By travel date in June, the downward trend is stable in comparison to 2019 and there are no signs of recovery during the given period. The average advance search increased by approximately 6.5% in comparison to 2019.


The French market’s demand to visit Spain in June shows a similar evolution to the Spanish one: below the previous year and intensifying from the 12th March onwards. This dynamic sharpens towards the beginning of April.
On the other hand, by travel date, there is a clear difference in demand between 2019 and 2020 which slowly seems to reduce towards the end of the month. In terms of average advance search, the French markets shows the highest increase, over 9%, in comparison to 2019.

Evolution of Air Connectivity

Inbound seats between 01/04/2020 and 30/06/2020 for the 15 main airports in Spain from anywhere in the world.

Schedule updated on 14/04/2020 Source: Cirium

The loss of air connectivity is drastic during the month of April, with a loss of over 90% of seats in comparison to the same month in 2019 (-11.5 million seats). For May, trends are also clearly lower but to a lesser degree, with approximately 20% less scheduled seats (-2.4 millions seats). In June, schedules are showing little signs of differences with the schedules for June 2019, with only a 3% difference (-400K seats). However, it is important to bear in mind that these schedules are subject to constant change as airlines make decisions on a daily basis and it is very likely that the drops in May and June will increase over the next few weeks with regards to the data extracted on 14/04/2020.

When analysing the four main markets for Spain, between April and June, the British market is the one that shows the biggest relative drop in seats (45%) in comparison to the same period in 2019 (-3 million seats). In absolute terms, the domestic market is the one with the biggest drop in seats during this period, with a drop of 3.84 million seats (-33.4%).

At Mabrian, we offer updated and reviewed worldwide schedules every three days. It is worth noting that the pace in the number of cancellations of programmed seats in Spain has slowed over the last two weeks. As an example, between the 1st April schedule and the 14th April schedule, the drop in inbound seats between April and June was 16%.  If we compare this evolution with regards to the next schedule updates, we can see that the 7th April schedule showed a 9.6% drop in seats and the 10th April schedule showed a 1.6% drop in seats.

By airlines, the ones that have cancelled the highest number of seats between the 1st March and the 14th April to travel between April and June are Vueling (-1.45 million seats), Ryanair (-1.2 million seats), Iberia (-0.95 million seats) and Jet2 (-0.87 million seats).

Evolution of average hotel prices

Average prices for one night in a standard double room between 01/06/2020 and 15/07/2020 vs 2019.
Bookings / Queries carried out 3 months in advance (between 01/03 and 15/04). Source: OTAs



Average prices for stays in June and the first half of July show a widespread drop in comparison to the same dates and advance queries in 2019. The category with the biggest drop is the 4* category:

  • 3*: -11.8%
  • 4*: -14.4%
  • 5*: -11.8%

This post is also available in: Spanish

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