SPAIN has experienced its most successful touristic year ever in 2019.
The Iberian country received 83.7 million tourists last year and broke the record for tourist numbers for the seventh consecutive year.
That figure represents a 1.08% increase compared to the statistics from 2018.
Spending from visitors has also increased, with tourists spending €92.2 billion, a 2.82% rise compared to 2018.
This increase in numbers is despite the fact that six months of the year experienced a decrease in tourist figures in comparison to 2018.
These months were: May, July, August, September, October and December.
That means that the other six months have had quite a high increase in volume of visitors to make up for that decrease.
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Oliver celebrated the record breaking figures and said: “This magnificent data allows us to face 2020 with solid foundations and with the confidence that we have a strong sector capable of maintaining Spain as a world leader in tourism competitiveness”.
However, the increase has slowed down in recent years, as from 2018 there has been a resurgence of competing Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt.
José Luis Zoreda, Vice President of Exceltur said: “We cannot compete with these destinations when it comes to price.”
British tourists still represent the highest proportion of tourists visiting Spain – a fifth of the total – but that is decreasing slowly.
18 million Brits chose Spain as their holiday destination in 2019, half a million less than in 2018.
Catalunya is the region that attracts the highest number of travellers: 19.3 million, which represents a 0.84% increase compared to the previous year.
The Balearic islands on the other hand experienced the highest decrease of visitors, suffering a staggering 31.86% downgrade in December 2019 compared to the same month the year before.