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Weaker euro to boost UK tourism to Spain

Fiona Govan · 29 Jan 2015, 12:31

Published: 29 Jan 2015 12:31 GMT+01:00

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Spain is set for a new record high in the number of British visitors in 2015 as package holidays on the Costas get cheaper.

The devaluation of the euro after the EU announced a stimulus package last week means holidays in Europe could be 15 percent cheaper this year than two years ago.

"A weaker euro will likely have a positive impact on tourism as the general perception over time will be one of increased value for those from outside the eurozone," Paul Rickard, research consultant at the European Tourism Association, told The Local.

Travel agents report that there has been a boost in early holiday sales as British tourists book early to make the most of their money.

“We are already seeing a knock-on effect as people are realizing that right now they can get a lot more euro for their money so they are not delaying booking their holidays.” Heidi Winstanley, manager of Benidorm-based Round Town Travel told The Local.

“A lot of people who are holidaying here this winter are already booking accommodation for next year because they can get more euros for their pound,” she said.

“With this exchange rate it’s the cheapest it's been for years.”

Last year was a record year of tourism in Spain, with figures confirming that the number of foreign tourists to Spain soared.

Almost 65 million individual visits by foreigners were made to Spain during 2014, an increase of 7.1 percent on the year before.

The number of British visitors increased 23.1 percent during 2014 to 15 million, and according to 02B, the travel industry news website were set to rise even further.

SEE ALSO: Top travel highlights for Spain for 2014

A report published by Spain´s Tourism Ministry this week revealed that over €63 billion ($71 million) had been generated from foreign tourism during 2014, an increase of 6.5 per cent from 2013.

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The UK provides the largest number of visitors and the biggest spend of €12.7 billion above Germany´s €10 billion.

The stats show that tourism remains one of the booming industry´s in Spain driving economic growth, representing around 11 percent of Spain´s GDP.

A report by the non-profit Spanish tourism body Exceltur revealed that the average spend per foreign visitor continued to drop.

The average spend during 2014 was approximately €754, a drop in real terms of around a third since the year 2000.

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

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

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