'Recovery is complete' - Spain sets new record for tourism in April

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'Recovery is complete' - Spain sets new record for tourism in April
International tourists in Spain reached record numbers in April 2023. Photo: CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP

The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain in April 2023 reached record levels and spending exceeds pre-covid figures, new data has revealed.


Spain received a record figure of 7.2 million international tourists in April, 18.5 percent more than in the same month of 2022 and 1.2 percent more than in April 2019, before the pandemic, according to data published Thursday June 1st by Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE).

Foreign tourism is an important part of the Spanish economy and it seems that it has finally recovered after more than three years with visitor figures lower than those prior to Covid-19. Spain's tourism sector accounted for 12 percent of its economy before the pandemic. 

"This extraordinary data demonstrates, once again, that Spain is at the forefront of world tourism, that tourism recovery is complete, and that the government's policies work," the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Héctor Gómez said. 

Gómez predicts that Spain will receive between 52.3 and 54.8 million foreign tourists during the summer months from May to October 2023. This is slightly more than the number of tourists Spain welcomed during the same months in 2019 before the pandemic. 

READ ALSO: Spain's tourism revenue forecast to hit record in 2023

In the first four months of the year, Spain received almost 21 million international tourists, which represents a growth of 32.4 percent compared to last year. 


Tourist spending

April was also a record month when it came to tourist spending with a total of €8.48 billion, 22.7 percent more than a year ago and 20.2 percent compared to the best pre-pandemic data, INE data revealed.

Average spending per tourist in April stood at €1,172, with an annual increase of 3.6 percent. For its part, average daily spending also increased by 11.6 percent, to €173, according to INE data. 

A considerable part of this rise can be attributed to the significant price increases that have taken place in the last year and a half. For example, the price of accommodation has skyrocketed by 24 percent, tourist packages by 17 percent, and restaurants by 15 percent compared to before the pandemic.

Where are all the tourists from?

Despite Brexit, British tourists still led the pack and continue to visit Spain in droves. Spain welcomed 1.4 million visitors from the UK in April, 8.7 percent more than in the same month in 2022.

The UK was followed by France and Germany with more than a million visitors each. Tourism from France grew by 26.9 percent since last April and from Germany by two percent.

Among the rest of the countries, the annual growth of tourists from the United States stands out with 60.7 percent more visitors than in April 2022. In the first four months of 2023, travellers from the United States increased by 75.4 percent, making it the country where the influx of tourists has grown the most compared to a year ago.

Italy and Portugal also saw significant growth compared to last year with 29 and 29.6 percent respectively.


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