More hotels for sale than open

The Spanish tourism sector is for sale, and international investment funds are ready to take over. Real estate portals have been filled in recent weeks with individuals posting offers for hotels and apartment blocks with a tourist license. From 250,000 euros one can get a six-bedroom hostel in Almería, up to 52.5 million for which a three-star 285-room hostel is offered in Ibiza.

On the “Think Spain” real estate portal, there are already about 400 hotels for sale. An other site, “Mil anuncios” has about a thousand. According to the website “Idealista”, there are already more hotels for sale than there are open, and the sector is convinced that things are going to become worse.

According to the secretary general of the “Mesa del Turismo”, the hoteliers have been able to buy some time thanks to the government support, but that time is gradually running out. It is mainly family hotels and smaller chains that are most vulnerable, these are chains with fewer than 5 hotels and less than 1,500 rooms in total.

As in housing, one can find now with discounts of up to 15% to buy a hotel. In the Balearic Islands, the average sale price before the Covid crisis reached 400,000 euros per room. Right now one can find opportunities below 100,000.

"It is a good time to buy hotels, as in the stock market when it is low, and it is a bad time to sell, unless you do not see the future with optimism, or you can not do anything else," says the former minister and president of the international chain Palladium Hotel Group, Abel Matutes.

The American Blackstone Group, the Spanish Atom and Portobello, the French Covivio and the British CBRE Gloval Inverstors are the funds with the most hotel establishments in our country, more than 200. Their objective, as reported by one of them, is to triple this figure to throughout the winter and spring of 2021, ideally with four and five star hotels that have been renovated in recent years.

The Canary Islands, with less seasonality, is the most attractive destination, while the Balearic Islands and Andalusia currently present the largest offers. Another attractive location is the big cities, where the investor can always play with a change of use and the real estate value of the building.

Investors believe that time is working in their favor, and they trust an increase in supply, as well as the depreciation of properties, especially if the second wave is prolonged and the season is again in danger. From the Ibiza Hotel Federation they believe that entrepreneurs who have liquidity will be able to hold out, but only one or two more seasons, at most.

The rise of mass tourism in destinations in Turkey and Tunisia has forced many Spanish hoteliers to invest and adapt. These hoteliers are still paying off their loans. Those who opened during the arrival of the Covid, were the ones who suffered the most.

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