Spain: British expat questions enforcement of Covid passes
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in resource shortages across Europe as supply lines are cut off and sanctions introduced on all sides of the conflict. While hotel and holiday bookings are climbing back to their pre-pandemic levels, local associations are worried about the collateral damage caused by the invasion on the tourism industry – with one supplier warning that there were only 45 days of wheat supply remaining.
Key resources with strained supplies include sunflower oil and wheat, while energy prices are also continuing to shoot up.
Nuria Montes from Benidorm-based hotel association Hosbec told local paper Las Provincias that the cost of providing a hotel stay “has increased
between 25 and 30 percent compared to 2019.”
She added: “The main expenditure for a hotel is its staff, but then that’s followed by food and drink, along with energy.
“Costs related to guest food can account for around 25 percent of the total expenses of a hotel.
“Energy comes in at 15 percent, with both those areas sky-rocketing in price.”
The shortened supply of food ingredients is affecting hotels across Spain’s east coast tourist destination.
Benidorm’s Abreca hospitality association manager Diego Salinas told expatriate newspaper The Olive Press: “Sunflower oil and wheat are the commodities that are causing us the biggest problems right now.
“Price hikes will reduce consumption but there will be products that are
going to be scarce.
“It is a bad time to have a pizzeria, but the sunflower oil situation is even worse and that is of concern for the owners of chip shops.”
Mr Salinas added that he had heard from one supplier that there was just “45 days of wheat supply left”, and that “they don’t know what price level it will be at” beyond that point.
These price increases may need to be passed on to consumers at a time when the tourist industry is only just recovering from the effects of lockdown.
According to statistics published by German market and consumer data company Statista, the revenue per available room in the Spanish hotel industry dropped by nearly 49 percent between 2019 and 2020.
The occupancy rate also declined by 40 percent in the same time period. Meanwhile, sunflower oil prices have shot up by 25-30 percent since the invasion began.
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Earlier this week, Spanish supermarkets began to ration their purchase in shops to prevent customers from stockpiling it.
English-language Spanish paper The Local report that a sign in the window of various Madrid supermarkets owned by major chain El Corte Inglés said: “Owing to the situation in Ukraine, there are some problems with the supply of sunflower oil. For this reason, purchases are limited to three one-litre bottles or one five-litre bottle per customer per day. Our apologies.”
Meanwhile, Spain’s largest supermarket chain Mercadona limited purchases of sunflower oil to five litres per customer online.
ASEDAS, which represents Spanish supermarkets and food distributors, said this was a result of “unusual customer behaviour”, with a rush on sunflower oil creating an “abnormal” level of demand.
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