3 Sep, 2022 @ 11:00
1 min read

Tourist spending in Spain finally returns to pre-pandemic levels

Spain’s Andalucia expects to reach 30 million tourists this year
Spain’s Andalucia expects to reach 30 million tourists this year

SPENDING by international tourists in Spain has finally returned to pre-pandemic levels, with the latest figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) showing visitors paid out €11.8 billion in the country during the month of July, a 127% rise on the same month a year ago. 

According to the INE, visitors spent an average of €170 a day while in Spain, not far from the record levels of €177 seen in May and €174 in June of this year. 

For the year up to July, tourists have spent more than €47 billion, which is four times greater than in 2021 but slightly below the figure for 2019, the last year before the coronavirus health emergency hit, when the total was €52 billion. 

The actual number of visitors, however, is still yet to reach pre-pandemic figures. In the first half of 2022, there were 39.3 million tourist visits to Spain – that’s three times the figure for 2021, but still a far cry from the 48 million seen in 2019.

In July, UK nationals topped the list in terms of total visitors, with 1.9 million tourists coming to Spain – 200,000 fewer than the same month in 2019. That was followed by the French (1.4 million) and Germans (1.1 million).

British visitors also spent the most while in Spain, according to the INE figures, with an estimated outlay of €2.4 billion – up nearly 260% on last year. 

The most popular destinations for visitors in July were the Balearic Islands, followed by Catalonia and the Valencia region. For the first seven months of the year, meanwhile, Catalonia was the most popular destination. 

Spain set an all-time record for tourist visits in 2019, with 83.5 million people coming to the country.


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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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