Spain: 64.4% increase in the number of international tourists last year

A total of 31.1 million foreigners visited Spain in 2021, representing a 64.4% increase on figures for 2020, when Spain welcomed 18.9 million visitors.

These figures were published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Furthermore, the report shows that total spending by non-resident tourists in Spain in 2021 was 34.82 billion euros, an increase of 7% compared to the figures for the previous year.

“December activity was better than expected, allowing us to meet our year-end guidance, which is very good considering the uncertainty generated by Omicron, which has not had the expected negative impact”, stressed in this regard the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.

Like many European countries, Spain’s tourism industry has also been deeply affected by the spread of the coronavirus and its new strains.

However, previously, the Spanish government pointed out that the tourism sector was making significant progress. After the increase in the number of arrivals recorded last year, the country’s authorities stressed that the tourism sector could return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

In this regard, Minister Maroto pointed out that “The recovery of the sector will be consolidated in 2022, and Spain will take advantage of its strengths compared to other competing destinations.”

According to figures provided by INE, a total of 2.9 million international tourists visited Spain in December 2021, an increase of 354.5% compared to the figures for the same month of 2020.

Tourists from the following countries visited Spain the most in December 2021:

  • France – 532,218 tourists (18% of the total and an increase of 224.8% compared to December 2020 figures)
  • UK – 415,585 (280.0% increase from December 2020)
  • Germany – 405,064 tourists (389.7% increase)

According to the report, the Canary Islands are the first main destination for tourists in December, accounting for 30.6% of the total, followed by Catalonia (18.9%) and Valencia (13.0%).

As for tourism spending by international visitors to Spain, in December 2021 it reached 3.54 billion euros, marking an increase of 408.4% compared to figures for the same period a year earlier.

“The average expenditure per tourist amounts to 1,201 euros, with an annual increase of 11.8%. On the other hand, the average daily expenditure increased by 14.5% to reach 126 euros”, read the statement.

According to the INE, the Autonomous Communities with a significant weight in tourism spending in December were the following:

  • The Canary Islands (35.1%)
  • Catalonia (15.5%)
  • Community of Madrid (12.6%)

Based on figures previously published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), due to the coronavirus, almost 202,000 people working in the Spanish travel and tourism industry have lost their jobs, marking a drop of 19.5% in the employment sector.

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