By Anna Ellis •
Published: 04 Sep 2023 • 16:34
Morning view of Barcelona from Parc Guell. Image: Pajor Pawel / Shutterstock.com.
Spain’s tourism industry is celebrating a historic milestone as it welcomed over 10 million international visitors in July, a feat never achieved before.
The numbers are a testament to the country’s enduring appeal as a premier global destination.
Data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) reveals that tourist arrivals in July surged by 11.4 per cent compared to the previous year, and remarkably, they even surpassed the record set in July 2019 by 2.6 per cent.
Notably, the economic impact of this tourist surge was equally impressive, with tourism expenditure for July soaring to a staggering €13.853 million, marking a substantial increase of 16.4 per cent year-on-year.
In the first half of 2023, Spain recorded a total of 47.6 million arrivals, an astonishing growth rate of 20.9 per cent compared to the previous year.
The accompanying expenditure during this period amounted to an impressive €59.864 million, reflecting a 25.3 per cent surge from the same period in 2022 and a remarkable 14.7 per cent rise compared to 2019.
Héctor Gómez, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, expressed his pride in this achievement, stating, “For the first time, we exceeded 10 million visitors in July, accompanied by extraordinary levels of tourist spending, which shows Spain’s potential as a quality, attractive, and sustainable destination for the world.”
Gómez also highlighted the remarkable resurgence of American tourists, saying, “The magnificent figures for tourist arrivals from the United States, which have not only recovered, as we have been observing throughout the summer but are already above the best pre-pandemic figures.”
Notably, the average expenditure per tourist in Spain currently stands at €1,367, representing a 4.4 per cent annual increase. Additionally, the average daily spending per visitor increased by a remarkable 9 per cent year-on-year, reaching €185.
The typical international tourist’s duration of stay in Spain remains at 7.4 days, consistent with July 2022. Most tourists opted for stays ranging from four to seven nights, totalling nearly 4.8 million visitors, a substantial annual increase of 14.6 per cent.
The top countries contributing to Spain’s tourism boom include the UK, with 2 million visitors in July, accounting for 20 per cent of the total and marking a 7 per cent increase from June 2022.
France and Germany followed closely as the next highest sources of tourists, with 1.6 million and 1 million visitors, respectively, in July.
Additionally, the United States, Portugal, and Italy recorded significant year-on-year growth in tourist arrivals, with the United States experiencing a remarkable surge of 28.9 per cent.
Both the United States and France have not only exceeded pre-pandemic figures for July 2019 but have also surpassed cumulative figures for the first seven months of the year.
In 2023, 2.3 million US citizens arrived in Spain, compared to 1.9 million during the same period in 2019.
Turning to regional tourism, Catalonia led the way in the first seven months of 2023, welcoming almost 10.2 million tourists, marking a remarkable 27 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022.
The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands also saw substantial growth in tourist arrivals, with 8.1 million and 7.9 million visitors, respectively.
For July specifically, the Balearic Islands emerged as the primary destination, hosting 24.1 per cent of the total visitors. Catalonia followed closely with 22.9 per cent, and Andalusia rounded out the top three with 13.3 per cent.
Spain’s tourism industry continues to shine as it attracts travellers from around the world, setting new records and reinforcing its reputation as a top-notch destination for tourists seeking quality, diversity, and unforgettable experiences.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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