TOURISM in July returned to almost the same levels seen before the Covid pandemic in 2019.

Figures from the National Statistics Institute show overnight hotel stays exceeded 42.3 million last month with occupancy rates at 69.9%.

That equates to 98% of the totals reached in July 2019 before the pandemic plunged the tourist sector into freefall.

The return of international tourism is the main reason for this year’s added momentum.

Six out of ten overnight stays were from non-Spanish residents- 26.7 million in July.

It is also an indicator as to how much people were keen to get a Spanish holiday despite serious problems with staff shortages at some European airports coupled with airline strikes.

In the first seven months of 2022, overnight stays increased by 187.7% compared to the same period last year.

The average length of stay also went up by 11.6 % compared to July 2021, standing at 3.4 overnight stays per traveller- just below 3.5 in July 2019.

In terms of raw overnight stay figures, foreign tourists picked the Balearic Islands as the most popular destination accounting for 35.9% of the total.

That’s followed by Catalunya and the Canary Islands, with 20.4% and 18.8% of the total, respectively.

The most popular regions for domestic tourists were Andalucia, Catalunya, and the Valencian Community.

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