Spanish Tourism Sector Speeds Up Recovery

The latest figures released by the  National Statistics Institute (INE) show that the post pandemic recovery in Spain´s all important tourism industry is gathering pace.

So far this year, the number of tourists visiting Spain has exceeded 15 million people, of which 5.2 million arrived in August with a combined total spend of just over 5.9 billion Euros.

The August figures are half the pre-pandemic volume of international tourists but 112% more than in the same month in 2020.

The tourist sector represents around 14% of Spain´s GDP.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, stressed that “this data consolidates the recovery trend in international tourism and confirms that Spain is perceived as a safe destination” and said the “rapid implementation of the EU digital COVID certificate and allowing vaccinated non-EU citizens to enter our country” as one of the principal reasons for the rebound.

“Our objective is to achieve greater international mobility with our main source countries and third markets and to this end we are reinforcing promotional activities” said the minister.

In August, the average spending per tourist was €1,136, 12.9% more than a year ago while spending by international tourists in August was half of that recorded in 2019 (€11.9 billion).

In the first eight months of the year, total spending reached just under €16.9 billion, 0.7% more than in the same period of 2020.

The Balearic Islands was the main destination for international arrivals with 25.2% of the total, up 188.2% year-on-year, and in terms of tourist spending with 26.8% of the total.

It is followed by Catalonia, (20.7% of arrivals and up 134% year-on-year) acounting for 19.1% of spending.

So far this year, France is the main source market, with more than 3.4 million tourists and an increase of 16% compared to the same period in 2020. Germany, with almost 2.6 million and an increase of 24%, is in second place.

Spain´s largest pre-pandemic market was the UK with over 18 million visitors and is expected to recover now that most restrictions have been lifted for UK to Spain travel.

In terms of spending, the main outbound markets so far this year are Germany with €2.9 billion euros (17.1%), followed by France with €2.7 billion euros (16%) and the UK with €1.8 billion (10.8%).


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