Spanish tourism industry goes from strength to strength

Posted on 15 November 2017

Not even the atrocious terror attack in Barcelona earlier this summer could put tourists off visiting Spain; such is its popularity with visitors from across the globe. Far from it in fact, as luxury tourist spending by foreign visitors there increased by 18% during the last 9 months. And who can blame them for continuing to turn up in their droves? Spain’s diverse landscape enables them to do everything from skiing to sunbathing, while world-class cities and coastal resorts offer them the chance to purchase luxury brands in comfortable surroundings.

Picturesque Barcelona

The Spanish tourism industry’s ability to show strength in the face of terrorism fuelled adversity, by adapting to this type of unpredictable situation has been vital for the economy, such is its importance to the country’s coffers. For example, tourism in Spain accounted for 11.1% of GDP in 2015, a figure that has increased steadily since 2010 when it sat at 10.2%.

These encouraging figures follow hot on the heels of data from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), placing Spain second behind the US in the 2016 tourism receipts rankings. The European holiday heavyweight generated $60 billion through visitor expenditure last year, and was the third largest destination in terms of arrivals with 76 million, behind the US and France – a significant proportion of which were holiday home owners visiting their pad in the sun for a much needed break. This influx of visitors is showing no signs of slowing and could reach 84 million by the end of the year. If these predictions become reality, Spain would be on course to surpass France for the first time as the global destination which attracts most tourists.

The growth of the tourism industry in Spain over the last 20 years has been nothing short of astonishing, with spending increasing by almost 300% during this period, compared to 134% in Germany, 226% in France, 142% in Italy and 259% in the UK.

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