Tourist arrivals reached 9.7 million between January and March 2022, up from 1.2 million a year back, INE reported.
Arrivals from Britain — Spain’s largest market — stood at 1.8 million, nearly 30 times the figure in Q1 2021.
“Month after month, Spain’s tourism industry continues to consolidate itself,” Tourism Minister María Reyes Maroto said in a statement, adding she was “optimistic” for the rest of the year.
While the number of tourists flocking to Spain in March hit 4 million, up from 491,000 in the same month last year, the figure was still 71 percent of the number recorded in March 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Spanish government recently extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel from most third countries until May 15th, meaning that British and other non-EU tourists who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recently recovered from the illness cannot go on holiday to Spain yet.
Spanish authorities did add however that they are preparing the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, which could lead to a further increase in the number of British and other international holidaymakers in the months to come.
The world’s second most visited country before the pandemic with 83.5 million visitors in 2019, Spain welcomed just 19 million tourists in 2020.
The figure rose to 31.1 million in 2021, far below the government’s forecast of 45 million arrivals.
Despite the huge rise in tourist arrivals from the UK when comparing Q1 2021 and Q2 2022, the number of British holidaymakers coming to Spain is still 37 percent below pre-pandemic levels.