Tourism will recover 87% of pre-Covid levels in 2022; BUY Melia and IAG, which have started the year up 9% and 16% respectively

Spain tourism

Bankinter | Exceltur believes that from April onwards the “trough” of the virus will have been overcome and that tourist activity in Spain will reach 135.465 billion euros in 2022. This is compared with 88.548 billion euros in 2021 and would mean recovering 87% of pre-Covid levels (154.487 billion in 2019). Despite the improving activity, the tourism lobby foresees a negative impact on both the margins and results of tourism-related firms from the hike in prices.

Bankinter analyst team’s view: Good news for the sector. Exceltur’s estimates would imply a 53% increase in tourist activity vs 2021, recovering around 87% of pre-virus levels. They are in line with our own forecasts, which point to an 85% recovery vs 2019, returning to maximum historic levels in 2023e. This recovery will mainly come from foreign tourism, which has been more heavily penalised due to restrictions on mobility.

The sector is one of our preferences for 2022. We reiterate our Buy stance on Meliá and IAG, which have both started the year off well, with rises of 9% and 16% respectively in the early stages. Outside Spain, our preferred stocks are Ryanair, Marriott, Booking, Expedia and Airbnb.