A total of 71.6 million tourists were registered in Spain last year, which is 14.3% less than pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to the latest official figures.
Foreign tourism remained steady throughout last year. Following a disappointing start, numbers started to rally once again from May, particularly in the leisure, meetings and congresses sectors, as per official data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) and Frontur.
Q1 last year was marked by higher energy prices, supply issues due to the war in Ukraine and the impact of Covid’s Omicron variant. According to Exceltur, heightened demand and the desire to travel have surpassed the adverse effects on personal income triggered by inflation.
The upward trend is set to strengthen this year, which will see a return to normality in international travel, especially visitors to Spain from Asia, as well as Latin America, particularly Mexico, Exceltur added.
Furthermore, tourism spending amounted to €87,061 million, a 5.3% decline compared to 2019, Euractiv reports.
Tourism made up 12.6% of the country’s total GDP in 2019. In 2020 this fell to 5.8% and rose to 12.2% in 2021.
The increase in tourism spending was a result of the hike in average daily expenditure, rising by 17.8% in 2021/22 to €162 per tourist, but remains €8 over the all-time high recorded in 2019, as per the INE and Frontur data.
Last year, the average tourist in Spain spent €1,217, an 8.7% increase over 2021 and 10.4% more than 2019, the Euractiv report goes on to add. In addition, the average visit to the country was 7.5 days, 0.7 less days than 2021.
According to the National Statistics Institute, the majority of tourists visiting Spain arrived from the UK, totalling 15.1 million, followed by France with 10.1 million and Germany with 9.76 million.
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