Whilst travel was deeply affected in Andorra as a result of the economic crisis during the review period, not least because of the Spanish and French economies sinking into recession, 2014 was characterised by a much better performance. Inbound arrivals showed a positive trend from 2013, and recorded even higher growth in 2014, boosting travel overall in Andorra. The key reasons behind this included the recovery of the Spanish economy, as well as two consecutive strong skiing seasons towards the end of the review period.
As in other markets, online travel is of rising importance in Andorra, whether used by travellers to conduct their bookings or to market destinations. Vallnord, for example, is promoted as a “connected” ski resort, providing free open Wi-Fi connection in all areas. In November 2013 the resort launched the Guiapp for mobile web users, to find not only the best routes for skiing, but also different points of interest, such as restaurants.
In spite of the more positive performance in terms of inbound arrivals, operators nonetheless struggled to take full advantage. Within lodging, for example, hotels have been undergoing a period of consolidation, and even in 2014, many travellers chose to stay in their own accommodation or in private apartments. Meanwhile, TUI’s Hotelopia entered into a partnership with the official Visit Andorra website, which further promoted online booking.
Infrastructure, or the lack thereof, has been a factor limiting the development of travel in Andorra. The announcement of the re-opening of La Seu d'Urgell airport (located in Spain just outside the Andorran border) in January 2015 to commercial traffic thus provides a more positive outlook for the forecast period.
Travel in Andorra is predicted to see a positive performance over the forecast period. The ongoing economic recovery in Spain, as well as stronger economic growth in France, is expected to lead to an increase in arrivals, as well as to travellers becoming more confident about their spending. The decoupling of the Swiss franc from the euro at the start of 2015 is also likely to result in more French tourists opting for cheaper Andorra rather than Switzerland for their holidays. However, Andorra remains vulnerable to the economic downturns of its neighbours, as well as climatic swings, which can affect the crucial skiing season.
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