|Tourism continues to break all records|
The group is forecasting that tourism in 2017 could increase 4.17% over last year, which translates to around 80 million tourists heading to Spain.
Over 75 million tourists headed to the Spanish sun last year, and Exceltur’s estimate is higher than the current 3.2% estimated increase. The upgrade comes as a result of a better-than-expected spring and Easter season, as well as a fine beginning to the summer season.
Exceltur commented on their reassessment of Spanish tourism figures, saying that the change came as a result of strong increases in foreign demand.
Spain has been a perennial favourite destination for summer package holidays, but the growing reputation the country has as a hub for weekend breaks in the city is having a strong impact on the numbers. Cities across the country recorded record numbers of overnight stays during the first half of the year, with some 2.7 million visitors staying overnight in Madrid alone between January and May; an increase of 19% over 2016.
Barcelona has always been popular of course, but now other cities such as Valencia, Bilbao, Malaga, Cordoba, and Seville are seeing increases in popularity. The Vice President of Eceltur José Luiz Zoreda believes it is the combination of climate, accessibility, and perception of safety – following the recent terror attacks of London, Paris, and Berlin – that makes Spain so popular and attractive to tourists.
A drop in tourism across other countries has seen an increase in Spanish tourism. Exceltur estimates Spain is “borrowing” around 15 million tourists that would otherwise have visited countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, and France.
In terms of nationality, Brits are still the most dominant tourist group, prompting Zoreda to suggest that the “Brexit effect” is something that just isn’t being felt in Spain. The number of American visitors has increased 19%, while there has been a massive increase of 35% in Asian tourists; most of whom come from China.