• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Spain enjoys record tourism year in 2014

Jessica Jones · 23 Dec 2014, 09:08

Published: 23 Dec 2014 09:08 GMT+01:00

Spain is on its way to receiving 65 million visitors in 2015 after the country notched up record figures for the period from January to November.

This year also saw the number of tourists who visited the country surpass 60 million for the first time, Spanish media reported.

The rise in the number of visitors to Spain coincides with other tourist destinations, such as Egypt recording a sharp drop in the number of visitors due to political instability.

The one nationality who are not visiting Spain in droves are the Russians whose numbers have fallen sharply due to the weak rouble.

The number of Russians holidaying in Spain went down by almost 10 percent, worrying Spanish tourism operators, especially in the area of luxury holidays, a particular draw to well off Russians. 

The United Kingdom continues to be one of the biggest markets for Spanish tourism, making up a quarter of all visitors. Between January and November 14.3 million Brits visited Spain, while the French, Italians and Belgians saw the highest rise in the number of people visiting the country, a 10 percent rise for each nationality.

It is not only sun, sea and sangria that tourists seek, a big surprise in this year’s figures is the popularity of Spain’s capital city: Madrid has registered an 8.3 percent rise in the number of visitors.

Rural tourism is also on the up, according to Spain’s rural tourism agency.

Not all of the consequences of this increase have been welcomed however, with the antics of some tourists in central Barcelona causing protests by locals in the summer.  

Residents from the tightly-packed seaside neighbourhood of Barceloneta took to the streets against the ravages of 'low-cost tourism’ and unseemly behaviour by visitors, many of whom are crammed into unregistered holiday apartments in the area.

Photographs of young men running naked through the streets of Barceloneta underlined an impression that the impact of tourism on central Barcelona was out of control.

Story continues below…

Authorities in Majorca also reacted strongly after a bar crawl video showing a young foreign tourist performing 24 acts of oral sex, allegedly in exchange for free drinks, went viral.

The nightclub involved was forced to close for a year after while the firm that organized the bar crawl was forced to pay a €55,000 ($73,000) fine following a police investigation.

Island authorities, weary of Majorca's sun, sex and alcohol image, pointed the finger of blame at the “hoteliers in Magaluf who promote alcohol-fuelled tourism”. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The bright side of Brexit: The 'good news' for Brits in Spain
Could Brexit be a reason to celebrate in Spain? Photo: AFP

Well the UK voted to Leave the EU, the pound is tumbling, and stock markets have been in turmoil, but it's not all bad news for Brits living and working in Spain... right?

Spanish arrest Russian mafia in money laundering probe
Photo: Civil Guard / Interior Ministry

The massive bust saw eight people arrested amd 191 properties across Spain seized.

Meet the new face of women's tennis: Garbiñe Muguruza
Photo: Garbiñe Muguruza/Instagram

We take a look at the Spaniard who is set to become the new face of women's tennis.

Madrid's prostitutes offered study grants to get off streets
File Photo: ipi6r/Flickr

Madrid City Council is offering 31 scholarships worth €76,500 to prostitutes who want to leave the streets and get an education.

The Local list
Five reasons why Spain is a great place to be gay
The Europride parade in Madrid. Photo: Bru Garcia / AFP.

The Local takes a look some of the major advantages for the LGBT community in Spain.

Spanish general election: What next?
The PP gained the most votes, but not enough for a majority. Photo: AFP

The PP will make a fresh push to form a government in the face of hostile rivals.

Spain crash out of Euro 2016 after 2-0 defeat by Italy
Disappointed Spain fans after the country crashed out of Euro 2016. Photo: AFP

Italy exacted revenge for their Euro 2012 final hammering by dumping Spain out of Euro 2016 with a deserved 2-0 last 16 win on Monday.

The Local list
Spain's top 10 awesome summer music festivals
Photo: Castellón Confidencial/Flickr.

Glastonbury was one of the muddiest on record this year but music festivals don't have to be that way. At least not in Spain.

Spain's 'most hated man' in street punch up over insults
Luis Barcenas allegedly attacked a man who called him corrupt. Photo: AFP

Luis Barcenas, a former conservative party treasurer at the centre of a far-reaching graft scandal, has been accused of attacking a man in the street.

Spain to go head to head with Italy for quarter final place
Spain face a dramatic match against Italy for a quarter final place. Photo: AFP

Two-time defending champions Spain meet Italy in a heavyweight last 16 clash at Euro 2016 on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
PP win most seats and PSOE cling on to second place
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
International
Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
National
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Lifestyle
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
National
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
3,403
jobs available