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Inbound tourism in Spain- Statistics & Facts

International tourism is one of the main drivers of the Spanish economy. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism industry contributed almost 178 billion euros to the Spanish economy in 2019, and it was expected to reach approximately 225 billion euros by 2028. Foreign tourism spending is undoubtedly one of the largest sources of these revenues, with international visitors spending over 90 billion euros during their trips to the Mediterranean country in 2019. In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a historic drop in tourist arrivals.

France replaces the UK as the main source market

Spain ranks second, just behind France, in the list of countries receiving the most international tourists in the world. Nearly 84 million international visitors decided to spend their holidays in Spain in 2019, representing the highest figure on record. In 2020, given the difficult international situation caused by the coronavirus, international arrivals did not even reach the 19-million mark. In any case, the leading source countries for tourists in Spain remained France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Most of these tourists prefer to travel by plane, for leisure purposes, and stay at hotels.

The Balearic Islands miss the top 3 most visited regions

As for the most popular travel destinations in Spain, the Balearic Islands missing the top 3 for the first time in years was the biggest change in 2020. The Mediterranean archipelago was the hardest hit by the crisis, so the most visited regions were Catalonia, the Canary Islands and Andalusia. The top three combined received around 10 million international tourists, down from 46 million in 2019. Other major tourist areas, such as the regions of Valencia and Madrid, ranked behind. Most foreign visitors opted for coastal tourist areas over inland destinations, with some exceptions such as the city of Madrid, which was visited by more than one million tourists during that year.



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Inbound tourism in Spain

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Inbound tourism in Spain- Statistics & Facts

International tourism is one of the main drivers of the Spanish economy. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the tourism industry contributed almost 178 billion euros to the Spanish economy in 2019, and it was expected to reach approximately 225 billion euros by 2028. Foreign tourism spending is undoubtedly one of the largest sources of these revenues, with international visitors spending over 90 billion euros during their trips to the Mediterranean country in 2019. In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a historic drop in tourist arrivals.

France replaces the UK as the main source market

Spain ranks second, just behind France, in the list of countries receiving the most international tourists in the world. Nearly 84 million international visitors decided to spend their holidays in Spain in 2019, representing the highest figure on record. In 2020, given the difficult international situation caused by the coronavirus, international arrivals did not even reach the 19-million mark. In any case, the leading source countries for tourists in Spain remained France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Most of these tourists prefer to travel by plane, for leisure purposes, and stay at hotels.

The Balearic Islands miss the top 3 most visited regions

As for the most popular travel destinations in Spain, the Balearic Islands missing the top 3 for the first time in years was the biggest change in 2020. The Mediterranean archipelago was the hardest hit by the crisis, so the most visited regions were Catalonia, the Canary Islands and Andalusia. The top three combined received around 10 million international tourists, down from 46 million in 2019. Other major tourist areas, such as the regions of Valencia and Madrid, ranked behind. Most foreign visitors opted for coastal tourist areas over inland destinations, with some exceptions such as the city of Madrid, which was visited by more than one million tourists during that year.



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