SPAIN has disappointingly failed to return to its pre-pandemic visitor numbers from its key markets of the United Kingdom and Germany – apart from in one region.

The overall figures for tourists from Germany and the UK up until November 2023 remain 4% below 2019, with a shortfall of 1.2 million tourists.

The Balearic Islands, however, have bucked the trend, not only managing to equal but slightly surpass its 2019 figures.

By November of last year, Brits and Germans contributed to a total of 8.2 million arrivals in the islands, marking an 8% increase from 2022 – and a 1% rise (90,000 more arrivals) from 2019. 

The global pandemic has seen an 18% drop in German travel, yet despite this the Balearics continue to attract German tourists.

British and German tourists numbers to Spain in 2023 were down on 2019 level, apart from in the Balearics

Significantly, nearly half of the Germans visiting Spain last year (10.2 million) chose Baleares for their holidays (4.5 million). 

Meanwhile, holiday bookers TUI are planning to bring over two million Germans to the islands this season, the highest in their nearly 60-year relationship. 

Alvaro Blanco at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin highlighted the enduring loyalty and improving offerings as key factors. 

This resilience has also been seen with British tourists, who, despite shifting preferences to more economical destinations like Greece, Portugal, Egypt, and Turkey, still favour the Balearics.

Despite the dominant role of German and British tourists in both the Balearic and Spanish tourism industries, the record-breaking international arrivals in 2023 highlight the growing importance of other markets. 

Notably, there has been an increase in visitors from France (+10%), Switzerland (+19%), and the USA (+25%) in the Balearic Islands.

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