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Record spending by foreign tourists in Spain

Foreign tourists spent 82,293 billion euros in Spain during the first 11 months of 2017

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Spending increased by 12.9% compared to the same period of 2016 and Britain remains the principal market. A combination of uncertainty in the Middle East, security fears in rival destinations and bad weather in Europe have all helped Spain to deliver record breaking tourism figures during 2017 and as the post-Christmas holiday booking season begins, the industry is hoping that the tourism boom which has helped to pull the country out of recession will continue into 2018.

The latest tourism stats show just how much money foreign tourists continue to spend in Spain and emphasise the importance of UK visitors, who spent more than 16 billion euros in Spain during the first 11 months of 2017.

The latest monthly report released this Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) relate to November 2017 and show that international tourists who visited Spain during the first eleven months of 2017 spent 82,293 million euros (82 billion), 12.9% more than the same period in 2016, exceeding the record total spending of foreign tourists who visited the country in the twelve months of 2016 (77,625 million).

On average, each foreign tourist who chose Spain as a destination spent 1,058 euros during their visit, an increase of +3,5%, the average daily expenditure being 138 euros (+5,4%). Although this does vary from country to country, the highest average expenditure was that of Nordic visitors who spent 139 euros a day, with an average of 1,187 during their visit. An average visit lasted for 7.7 days, and although this was lower than in 2016, the amount spent per capita was higher, so the 2017 figures are still considerably better than those for 2016.

In November alone, foreign tourists spent 4,638 million euros (4.6 billion), an increase of 10,3% against November 2016. During November the UK accounted for 17,9% of the total, followed by Germany (13,3%) and the Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden who together accounted for 12%. However, the British remain the most important market by far on an annual basis due to the sheer numbers who choose Spain as a destination, and between January and November British tourists spent 16,604 million euros, (16 billion), which is 9,3% more than in 2016, accounting for 20,1% of the national total.

Each British visitor spends an average of 924 euros, or 121 euros a day (+5,8%), staying in Spain for 7.7 days, so although the period spent decreased by 3.4%, the increased amount spent per capita compensated for this, the result being that British tourists spent 832 million euros in Spain during November, an increase of 6.6%.

In second place are visitors from Germany, with 11,693 million euros and an increase of 10.4%, which accounted for 14.2% of the total across the year. The Germans spent an average of 1,025 euros (+ 4%), or a daily expenditure of 125 euros (+4.45), with a duration of 8.2 days, a decrease of 0.4%. In November they spent 16.6% more, up to 617 million.

The French occupy third place with an 11 month expenditure of 6,690 million euros until November, which is an increase of 4.1%. The average expenditure made was 625 euros (+ 3.65%), with an average daily expenditure of 88 euros (+ 2.8%). The duration of stay was 7.1 days, 0.84% higher. In November they spent 295 million euros, 1% more than November 2016.

Further down the list are the Scandinavian countries who spent 6.481 million euros in the first eleven months of the year contributing 558 million euros during November, followed by the Italians with an eleven month total of 3,039 million for January to November and 180 million during November.

In spite of all the negative publicity relating to the Catalan Independence campaign and terror attack, Catalunya remained the most popular destination during the first eleven months of 2017, capturing 22.2% of the total revenue during that period. (18,275 million euros, an increase of 10.6% against the 2016 figures.)

Next in line were the Canary Islands which hoovered up 15.239 million euros and 18.5% of the total) followed by the Balearic Islands which gathered 14,476 million euros in revenue, or 17.6 % of the total. Behind them came the Region of Andalucia, which earned 12,045 million euros, followed by Madrid with 8,189 million euros (+15.9%) and then the Region of Valencia with 8,087 million euros (an increase of 15.7%).
The remaining Autonomous Communities shared the remaining 5,982 million euros between them.

In spite of the fact that Spain is widely associated with package holidays, 69.2% of the total money spent was by independent travellers who chose Spain as a destination, booking their own flights and accommodation.

62,1% of the total money spent was by those staying in hotels and 84.4% of the money spent was by visitors who gave “leisure” as their principal reason for visiting.

Source: Spain News Today, January 2018

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