HomeAir LineSpain peaked in 2023 with 85 million foreign tourists

Spain peaked in 2023 with 85 million foreign tourists

It is the highest figure in the historical series. Spending shot up 25% to 108,662 million euros

Tourists in the vicinity of the Barcelona Cathedral.Carles Ribas

The INE has confirmed this morning what the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, announced two weeks ago: the arrival of tourists and spending during their stays reached historic highs in 2023. The figures have been even better than initially expected by Turespaña, with a final balance of 85 million foreign tourists, which represents an increase of 18.7% compared to 2022 (1.5 million more in absolute terms) and surpassing the previous historical maximum, reached in 2019 with 83.5 millions of travelers.

Revenge tourism after two years of pandemic and the prioritization of travel over other expenses They started 2023 as ephemeral trends and were consolidated throughout the four quarters. Only in this way is it explained the unprecedented growth in spending by travelers during their stays, which shot up 25% to 108,662 million euros. Not only did more tourists come, but they spent more during their trips, with an average daily expenditure of 149 euros, which represented an annual increase of 2.3%.

The start of 2024 has not served to curb the industry’s optimism after a record year. Turespaña predicts that in the first quarter of the year they will arrive 23 million foreign travelers, which would be 10.8% more than a record year, and they will spend around 30,000 million euros during their stays, 18.5% more annually, corroborating the greater dynamism of spending compared to arrivals. Large hotel companies, such as Meliá, Barceló, Riu, Palladium and Piñero, presented very optimistic forecasts during the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) with investment plans to resume the expansion paralyzed by the pandemic.

United Kingdom recovers the 20% quota

The analysis by markets shows the partial recovery of the United Kingdom, which was consolidated as the first issuer of travelers to Spain, with 17.3 million, which gave it a market share of 20.4%. Despite this, it was still far from the 18 million reached in 2019. The increase in supply from Ryanair and Jet2, the first airline and the first tour operator, has contributed to the massive return of British tourism, especially to the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and the Costa del Sol. of travelers from the United Kingdom. Both took advantage of their presence at Fitur to warn about the review of their decisions or its investments in the event that Aena approves the 4.07% rate increase that it plans to activate this year.

France consolidates the surprise Germany as the second source marketwith 11.8 million tourists (665,226 more than in 2019, the highest growth among the markets analyzed) and a share of 13.8% of the total, adding one million more passengers than Germany, which ranks second. third position, with 10.8 million (357,000 less than in the pandemic) and a weight of 12.7% of the total. And this push from France has reinforced the leadership of Catalonia as the most visited autonomy due to its geographical proximity.. 18 million foreign tourists arrived in Catalonia, almost four million more than in the Balearic Islands (14.4 million), penalized by the halt in travel from Germany, and threatened by the Canary Islands, which closed a historic year, with 13.9 million. , almost a million more than in 2019, thanks to the commitment of Ryanair and Jet2 during last summer (low season in the Canary Islands) and the current winter (high season in the archipelago).

In parallel with the decline of the two large issuing markets (United Kingdom and Germany), arrivals from the The Nordic countries, traditionally the fourth largest tourist source market, fell to 4.86 million (665,871 fewer travelers than in 2019), tying with Italy, which closed 2023 with 4.86 million and a growth of 328,457 tourists compared to 2019.. In the ranking of issuing countries, they are followed by the Netherlands, which gained 400,000 travelers compared to 2019, reaching 4.1 million; USA, with 500,000 more tourists to 3.8 million; Portugal, also with 400,000 more travelers up to 2.8 million and Ireland, with 300,000 more travelers up to 2.5 million. In relative terms, the highest growth was recorded by Mexico, with a growth of 100%.

lThe pending issue continues to be the Asian market, which has not yet recovered the connectivity of 2019 or freedom of movement as a result of the restrictions linked to the coronavirus that remained in place in 2023, with Japan, China and Korea in the lead. 311,555 travelers arrived from Japan, less than half of the 677,659 recorded in 2019. The deterioration was less in China, with 382,207 tourists, far from the 700,748 pre-pandemic. Korea emerges surpassing both markets, with 433,786 travelers, also far behind the 630,979 tourists.

In a recent interview with Cinco Días, the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, expressed confidence that tourism spending will continue to grow at double digits and would consolidate the change in the tourism model. “The Government will stop taking the 2019 data as a reference measure, highlighting that the pandemic is a cycle that has already been overcome,” he highlighted in it, in which he urged not only to fight the battle of quantity or sacralize the number of people. who visit us. “We must pay more attention to spending at the destination and other parameters that have to do with sustainability and quality.”

The roadmap to regulate tourist apartments

Figures. One of the great objectives of the new Minister of Industry and Tourism is to put a stop to the uncontrolled growth of tourist housing, a demand repeated ad nauseam by the hotel industry. “We have created a work team with the Ministry of Housing to put figures, rules of the game and norms to an activity from which illegal activity must disappear,” Hereu highlighted in the recent interview with Cinco Días.

Tailored suits. Hereu considers that The regulation of tourist homes should only be activated when they collide with the right to housing. “The laws drawn up by the autonomies, which are responsible for tourism matters, have to take into account that the circumstances are not the same in all municipalities and therefore the law must be adapted to each one of them. In some cases, if housing for tourist use becomes overcrowded, it collides with the right to housing,” he noted. Therefore, what he proposes is that each city council must have the capacity to evaluate this circumstance and get the regional governments to establish exceptions. “Flexibility can be offered where it does not conflict with the right to housing. “It must be regulated and limited in a reasonable manner, adapting to the reality of each territory or municipality.”he stressed.

mix. In any case, Hereu made it clear that tourist apartments cannot grow without limit as in the last three years or disappear as an alternative to hotels. “They should be part of the accommodation mix, as long as it is regulated and not illegal.”

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Source: Cincodias

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