How will Spanish tourism adapt to climate change?

Does Spain's tourism sector need to adapt?

Image of a tourist feeling the heat. Credit: Antonio Guillem/

How will climate change affect a top tourist destination like Spain?

In 2023, Spain emerged as the world’s premier tourist destination, overtaking France for the first time.

Last year, the country welcomed approximately 84 million visitors, with tourist spending surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

However, a recent report on the tourism sector from David Cesar Heymann indicated that climate change is taking its effect on tourist spending.

The influence of climate change

The CaixaBank report highlights that climate change is already impacting Spain’s tourism sector. There’s been a noticeable shift in tourist spending towards Spain’s cooler regions since 2019, while warmer areas have seen a slower increase.

This trend is particularly evident during heatwaves, where tourist spending patterns change, focusing more on night-time leisure and dining.

‘The main risk in the medium and long term for tourism in Spain is climate change,’ Heymann warns.

He explains that a rise of four degrees in summer temperatures could result in a decline in tourism by up to 15 per cent.

Why Spain?

Aside from the obvious reasons, one of the factors behind Spain’s success as a tourist destination is it’s price competitiveness. In 2024, security is also expected to play a significant role.

‘Spain has a very high perception of security among international tourists and when there is tension or instability in the Middle East, historically the Spanish tourism sector has benefited,’ says Heymann.

British and North American tourists are particularly sensitive to these security situations claims the expert.

How should Spain adapt ?

So, how should the tourism sector respond to these changes? Investment in night-time leisure and dining options becomes crucial, especially during heatwaves.

In coastal areas, promoting water activities and shaded spots is key, while urban destinations should focus on air-conditioned or well-ventilated activities.

David Cesar Heymann’s insights offer a crucial understanding of the challenges and adaptations needed for Spain’s tourism sector in the face of climate change.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • CCW60

      24 January 2024 • 14:14

      We need to start calling this what it is…weather pattern cycles that have always happened throughout earth’s history.

      This is from an article in the Smithsonian on the 1540 Mega Drought that encompassed all of Europe at the time and is compared to the drought in Spain now. It’s weather. Has always happened and will always happen. Does it effect where people go, move to, or live? Absolutely. Always has!

      (This Summer’s Drought Is Europe’s Worst in 500 Years. What Happened Last Time? The 1540 megadrought brought mass suffering to the continent, but European society quickly bounced back)

      “1540 is a very famous event, and if we look back over the last 500 years, it is the only one that gets close … in terms of severity,” says Toreti.

      Occurring during a stretch of unusually warm summers in the midst of Europe’s “Little Ice Age,” a period of global cooling and extreme weather that affected the continent between the 14th and 19th centuries, the 1540 drought’s heat was so extreme that even state-of-the-art climate models could not predict it when fed nearly 1,200 years of climate data.”

    • Robert Marshall

      24 January 2024 • 14:16

      1 degree hotter if is true shouldn’t be to bad .. unless your a BBC panick merchant and are on your 5th booster Lol

    • Dik Coates

      27 January 2024 • 04:40

      It depends on how hot it gets… If too hot, the tourist industry may be decimated.

    Comments are closed.