Spain’s tourism industry set to break records in 2019

28 Nov 2019

Spain touristsSpain is on track to record a record-breaking number of tourist visitors for the seventh consecutive year.

Amid political uncertainty and turmoil driven by Brexit, and the demise of former tour operator Thomas Cook, visitors from the United States and Asia have been offsetting these events, said Spain’s industry minister last week. 

Spain’s domestic economy is heavily reliant on tourism, as it stands as the world’s second-most visited country after France. The tourism industry accounts for nearly 12% of national gross domestic product (GDP). 

During the first eight months of 2019, the number of international tourists visiting Spain hiked 1.3% to 67.1 million, said industry minister Reyes Maroto addressing a news conference last Wednesday. 

Maroto noted that despite Brexit uncertainty and Thomas Cook going bankrupt earlier this year fogging some people’s decisions to travel, nationalist tensions in the north-eastern region of Catalonia barely effected international tourism activity. 

Spain is expected to end 2019 with a 0.7% increase in the number of international tourist visits, the minister added, which would mark a new record of 83.4 million. 

Earlier this year, a study analysing people’s travelling tendencies of the past 40 years, identified Spain as the number one destination for British holidaymakers. 

In 2018, more than 13.6 million Brits were recorded travelling to the country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, up from 6.7 million 25 years ago, when it still stood as the most popular destination for vacationers. 

The study also revealed that there still lies a robust market for traditional package holiday destinations, with almost 25 million UK visitors heading to Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta last year. This marks a significant increase from the 13 million holidaymakers recorded in 1994.