ONE in every seven euros paid into the Spanish economy last year came from tourism, new figures have revealed.
The stats, from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), revealed the industry to be vital to the country’s economy as it overtook the US to become the world’s second-largest receiver of international tourists.
The statistics showed Spain’s tourism sector grew by 2.4% and contributed a whopping €178 billion to the economy – or 14.6% of the country’s GDP.
It also accounted for 2.8 million jobs – 14.7% of all jobs in Spain.
Some 55% of tourists were from abroad, with 45% being domestic visitors, the figures also revealed.
“In Spain, consumer spending experienced robust growth and the Travel & Tourism sector performed well last year,” the WTTC said.
“Spain has the potential to increase the size of its travel economy even further by growing the size of its business tourism sector.
At present, business travellers account for only 12% of all spending in Spain against a European average of 21%.
“It is fitting, then, that WTTC will be hosting its 2019 Global Summit in Sevilla this April, bringing together global leaders and sector experts to gather in the European hub of travel.”
Spain was the fifth largest tourism economy in the EU and ninth in the world in terms of total contribution to GDP
The sector is expected to grow by 2.8% this year – above the European average of 2.5%.