UK TOURISTS visiting Spain during the first 10 months of 2023 totalled just under 15.5 million people- an annual rise of 14.3%.

The British market has played a leading role in Spain’s tourist recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and accounts for the biggest number of visitors from a foreign country.

The next two largest groups are from France (almost 10.4 million and an increase of 17.0%) and Germany (with more than 9.6 million, up 9.4%).

In the first 10 months of 2023, the number of tourists visiting Spain exceeded 74.7 million- an 18.2% increase on the same period last year.

If the figure for 2023 is compared with the cumulative figure for the first 10 months of 2019- before the pandemic- foreign arrivals are 0.2% higher.

The statistics for the Costa Blanca and the Valencia region are more dramatic, reaching over nine million foreign tourists up to end of October- over half a million extra than the whole of 2019.

On current trends, Alicante-Elche airport is expected to close the year with a record number of passengers to surpass the 2019 total.

The overwhelming majority of arrivals were independent travellers.

New air routes will boost figures still further with next year seeing more connections.

Last week, easyJet started the first of its Costa Blanca promotional campaigns ahead of the budget carrier opening a base at Alicante-Elche airport in 2024.

It has announced 10 new routes connect with Southampton, Newcastle, Belfast City, Zurich, Prague, Lyon, Lille, Nantes, Nice and Birmingham next summer.

Finnair has also announced that it will run three weekly flights between Alicante and Helsinki during the next high season.

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