The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT), in a statement said today that the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud which led to the blocking of airspace in April resulted in a loss of 192.5 million euro to the Spanish hotel sector.

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According to a study by associations related to CEHAT which comprises of more than 10,000 hotels, more than 80 percent of these losses were due to last minute cancellations and around 18 percent were due to expenses for repatriation and discounts on stays in hotels.

CEHAT also pointed out that it was not because of the closure of Spanish airports that the losses were of such a high magnitude, as only few Spanish airports were closed and that too over a very short period of time. The main factor responsible for the economic repercussions suffered by the Spanish hotel sector was that the airports at the originating destinations of tourists in northern Europe remained closed for a long time and most of the patrons at this time are from those areas.

The regions most madly hit was the Canary Islands, as it accounted for 60 percent of the total loss. The other region to be affected was the Baleares, with a 31 percent share of the losses. Rest of the regions did not suffer as badly as these two, with Valencia ranking third with a loss of just 2 percent of the total losses.