ANDALUCIA’S tourism sector is fearing a downturn after the number of foreign visitors decreased for the first time in 33 months in February.
The number of visitors to the region fell by 0.3% compared to the same period as last year.
It may not seem like a significant loss, but it is less than its rival regions Catalunya and the Canary Islands, which saw foreign visitor numbers increase by 2.8% and 0.8% respectively.
What’s more worrying for tourism bosses is that the number of British tourists coming to Spain dropped by 5.9 % in February compared to the same month last year.
Brits are believed to represent 30% of the holidaymakers visiting Andalucia each year.
In the first two months of 2018, the number of Brits arriving in the region fell by 3.1%, while the number of French – the region’s third biggest market – fell by 2.2%.
Tourism lobbying firm Exceltur and hotel management chain Cehat have placed part of blame on the recovery of tourism in rival destinations like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, and a less favorable exchange rate between the pound and the euro.
It comes after the Minister of Tourism in Tunisia, Selma Elloumi, announced that his country’s tourism sector expects to rake in 25% more profits this year than in 2017.
He added that he expected a record number of tourists, which would reverse the damage inflicted on the sector by the terrorist attacks registered in several tourist spots in 2015.
Several large European tourism companies such as Thomas Cook or TUI have begun to return to the country after leaving it aside for three years after the attack on the beach of Susa, which killed 39 people, and the Bardo National Museum, which killed another 21.
The silver lining for Andalucia is that although there was a drop in international tourists in the first two months, their spending grew by 11.8% to €664 million, meaning the region is attracting wealthier tourists.
- Brazilian soldier from convoy of President Bolsonaro arrested for smuggling cocaine into Spain’s Sevilla after controversial leader vowed to crack down on drugs - 26 Jun, 2019 @ 12:41
- One hospitalised as roaring chemical plant fire in San Roque is brought under control - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 20:27
- Gibraltar says ‘no cause for concern’ as toxic smoke from San Roque chemical fire unlikely to affect British territory - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 17:55
- Firefighters near San Roque chemical fire warn of toxic smoke as Gibraltar government advises residents to CLOSE WINDOWS and doors - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 17:35
- WATCH: Homes evacuated as huge chemical fire ‘covers cars in ash’ and ‘turns sky dark’ near Spain’s Costa del Sol - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 16:59
- IN VIDEOS: HUGE mushroom cloud of toxic black smoke as fire BLAZES at chemical plant near Spain’s Costa del Sol - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 16:16
- BREAKING: Incident at San Roque oil refinery as flames and smoke billow from plant - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 15:54
- PLEASE SHARE: British teen launches last-ditch appeal to find dad who vanished from Spain’s Costa Blanca almost 10 years ago - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 15:34
- Shots fired at mosque in Spain - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 14:37
- BLUFFING MUFFINS: WARNING as batches of ‘fake gluten and dairy free’ magdalenas across Spain at risk of causing widespread allergic reactions - 25 Jun, 2019 @ 14:27