THANKS to a ‘travel frenzy’ sweeping Europe, tourism bosses are hoping Spain will match the record visitor numbers of 2019.
According to the Exceltur Tourism Association Spain has seen a ‘dazzling surge in tourist numbers’.
Official figures show that 22.7 million tourists visited the country in the first five months of 2022 – a massive seven times the number in the same period of 2021.
Before the pandemic Spain was the second most popular tourist destination in the world behind France and just ahead of the USA, a position it hopes to cement this summer.
Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto backed Exceltur’s optimism, saying: “The number of bookings confirms Spain as a favourite international destination and indicates a good outlook for the high season.”
Fernando Valdes, a tourism ministry spokesman, added: “After two long years we are finally going to see a summer like in previous years.”
The analysts’ predictions are backed by local bosses. Ian Radford, who runs the La Sala group of restaurants and bars on the Costa del Sol, confirmed that business is booming.
He told the Olive Press: “We’re trading 25, 30% up in sales just over the winter months. It’s been the best start to a year ever for us – and it beats 2019.
“Business is really, really good. La Sala Beach is so far 40% up on our best year.
We had over 10,000 pre-reservations before we even opened at the beach.”
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