VuelosBaratos – which allows travellers to quickly compare flight deals from a ton of other travel sites – ranked over 50,000 searches on their site for trips during the Easter week. Note this just takes searches into account, not actual reservations, so take this study for what it’s worth. But it’s interesting to notice how many Spanish Internet bargain shoppers opted for home turf instead of other European destinations or even further out: 15 out of the top 20 are national. Of course those that didn’t have the envied 9-day stretch of vacation mostly stuck close to home for their kick-back days, as in Andalucia the only official days off were Thursday and Friday. An interesting trend I noticed from this study: inlanders from Madrid, Seville and Granada headed to the coasts and vice-versa: coastal residents from Barcelona and Malaga escaped to the interior. You’d think we weren’t content with the natural surroundings we see every day!
But regardless, the slowing economy made a clear dent in last week’s travels, as travellers didn’t opt for many long-haul trips beyond the relatively cheaper options of New York and Cuba. Many hotels and restaurants also noted much lower profits than expected for such a normally peak week. Sounds to me like the Spanish are cinching up their belts a bit and spending instead on necessities.