SPAIN’S tourism industry is set to break all records after raking in more than €84 billion so far this year – with Brits once again leading the foreign market.
More than 66.5million tourists enjoyed a holiday in the country between January and September, representing a year-on-year boost of 18.8%.
In total they have spent €84.6 billion, some 24% more than in 2022.
The figures, shared by the National Statistics Institute (NIE), show the number of arrivals is just 0.6% below the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.
Spain’s tourism minister Hector Gomez said he ‘welcomed’ the figures, adding that other factors are also being studied, including the environmental impact of tourists.
Industry leaders are looking to grow tourism in a more sustainable way following a wave of anti-tourism movements across the country this summer.
The latest statistics show that despite the cost-of-living crisis unfolding back in the UK, Brits are continuing to flock to Spain, almost 13.8 million so far this year, to be exact (up 14.6% on last year).
Following in a distant second is France with 9.4 million (up 18%) and Germany with 8.4 million (up 9.6%).
The Brits also contributed the most to Spain’s coffers between January and September, accounting for 18.7% of all tourist spending.
As with most years, Germany was a distant second on 11.9% of tourism spending while France came in third with 9.3%.
The most popular regions for tourists also remain unchanged, with Catalunya – the home of Barcelona – receiving 14.2 million visitors, a year-on-year increase of 22.2%.
Hot on its heels is the Balearic Islands with just under 12.6 million tourists in the first nine months of 2023, a jump of 8.6%, followed by the Canary Islands, which welcomed just under 10 million holidaymakers (up 14.1% on 2022).