After two years of restrictions and uncertainty, the Spanish tourism industry sees 2022 as the year of recovery. One of the key points will be the return of visitors arriving by road, which fell from almost 13 million in 2019 to just over 6 million in 2021, according to the National Institute of Statistics.
However, the Swedish manufacturer Charge Amps warns about the new needs of drivers who will arrive in the country, such as the need for charging points in the holiday destination for electric vehicles. Together with different experts, they have contemplated the implications that the increase in the market for electric vehicles in Europe will have on the Spanish tourism industry.
«The tourists who arrive in Spain by road come mainly from European countries, such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Nordic countries.
This list coincides with that of the countries with the highest percentage of electric vehicles, led by Sweden (32.2%), followed by the Netherlands (25%), Finland (18.1%), Denmark (16.4%) and Germany (13.5%), according to the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). The data makes us anticipate that the number of visitors who will arrive in Spain by electric vehicle will grow in 2022”, explains Henrik Bergman, Regional Director of Charge Amps in Spain and Portugal.
These figures represent a challenge for the network of chargers for electric vehicles available in Spain, which is around 12,000 units of public stations, according to the Business Association for the development and promotion of electric mobility (AEDIVE). The distribution is very uneven throughout the territory, with Catalonia as a very prominent leader, followed by the Valencian Community and Madrid. The rest of the communities are far behind, which has led to Spain being considered as a country with a large deficit of charging points. Bearing in mind that drivers of electric vehicles must plan their routes according to the recharging points available on their journey, this situation makes regions such as the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands or Andalusia less attractive.
“The arrival of tourists with electric cars should be seen as an opportunity to adapt the facilities for such vehicles. Facilities such as hotels, campsites, shopping areas, monuments or other tourist areas and attractions must be prepared to receive visitors and meet their new demands,” explains Johan Cavallini, Tourism Management Consultant in Spain. “It is time to prepare for the season and update services, not only for 2022, but to face the future of tourism in Spain. To the arrival of visitors who drive electric cars, we will have to add the new fleets of electric rental vehicles.
Offer of electric rental
The paradigm shift in mobility will also have an impact on the preferences of visitors in terms of car rental. Some leasing companies are already preparing their fleets to meet the new environmental standards that customers will demand of them. This will also mean a greater need for charging points in tourist facilities, which must offer guests and visitors the option of easily charging their vehicles at their facilities while they enjoy their holidays.
«Drivers of electric vehicles, whether they own or rent, know that they must have chargers available in the destinations and locations they visit, for example hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, golf courses, etc. They are aware that they cannot rely solely on the network of public chargers”, says Johan Cavallini.
“It is essential that tourist infrastructures have charging stations in their private car parks, so that users can have their vehicles always ready”, details Henrik Bergman, from Charge Amps. «Offering an intelligent charging point allows us to cover the demands of all visitors, in addition to providing added value to the accommodation, restaurant or shopping center. In hotels, it will be just as normal to offer electric car charging as it is to offer a WiFi connection.”
The effect of the paradigm shift in mobility in tourism in Spain will be felt throughout 2022. Those agents in the sector that prepare their facilities to welcome electric vehicles ensure a present and future competitive advantage. Offering charging points that combine intelligence and simplicity with robustness and style, will place hotels, restaurants, campsites or tourist attractions ahead of the rest in a key year for the recovery of the sector.