Tourist Numbers Increased 14% In February

Tourist numbers continue to rise
Tourist numbers continue to rise

Tourists continue to flock to Spain as other once favoured destinations are avoided due to continuing security fears.

February saw 3.7 million international tourists travel to Spain representing a 13.7% increase over the same period in the previous year, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute.

British tourists came in the largest numbers, once again, accounting for 22% (806,835) of the total arrivals during February. This representas an increase of 17.1% when compared to February 2015.

French and German tourists were the second largest groups with 529,716 and 481,219, respectively. French travellers increased by 8.5% on the annual rate, while Germans increased by 7.4%.

The UK, France and Germany have long been the largest source of tourists for Spain but this year has seen increases in numbers from other countries too. Traveller numbers from Russia have increased substantially showing a 19.8% gain, when compared to Feb 2015. American traveller numbers increased by 18.4% while the number of tourists from Ireland grew by 17.3% during February.

Tourist Destinations

The Canary Islands proved to be the most popular area attracting 30.3% of the total travellers. This was followed by Catalonia with 25.3% of the total, while Andalucia accounted for 13.4%.

The Canary Islands saw a 10.5% increase, when compared to the same period in 2015, rising to 1,114,737 tourists. The majority came from the UK with 31.9% of the total, while Nordic countries accounted for 22.3%.

The number of tourists visiting Catalonia during February increased by 13% over the same month in 2015, to over 930,000, while Andalucia saw annual growth of 14.3%, representing almost half a million tourists.

The Balearic Islands saw phenomenal growth for February with an annual increase of 42.1%. This has been put down, in part, to increased supply of accommodation. Valencia saw an increase of 24.4% whle Madrid saw gains of 12% over 2015.

Where, Why, and How long?

Hotel stays increased by 16.3% during February while the numbers renting a private property for their stay fell by 2.1% on the annual rate.

The number of tourists staying with friends or family rose by 13.6%.

The main reason stated by travellers for the visit was leisure, recreation and holidays, accounting for 2,814,038. This represents annual growth of 7.3%.

Business travellers represented 439,747 visitors during February, a huge 45.4% increase, while 37.4% of travellers stated “other” as their reason for travelling.

The number of travellers that stayed for between four and seven nights increased 17.1% to 1.8 million, while 681,851 travellers stayed for between eight and 15 nights. Long stay travellers (more than 15 nights) increased by 6.5% on the annual rate to 275,876.

Semana Santa (Easter) came early this year and has just passed. It was very, very busy with unusally hot weather for this time of year adding to the madness. Marbella and Puerto Banus were chaotic! The roads were jammed, parking was scarce and the beaches were full. I look forward to seeing the offical figures for March and expect them to be high!

If the trends of the first few months continue then 2016 is going to be a great year for tourism!


More positive indicators for the Costa del Sol

Marbella is not the only large town to be influenced by the huge influx of tourists in 2014. With an estimated 10 billion euros being created in 2014 across Andalucia other councils are also making improvements which is great news for the construction industry.

The influx of tourism to Marbella this year has been so impressive that the town has been added to the small list of areas that is permitted to now start opening shops on Sundays, which is not only great news for the local residents but also for tourists.

In light of the pending local elections which are less than a year away now, one of the most eagerly anticipated projects of this year is due to start after the Summer in Estepona. The so-called Grand Boulevard is a major project which will transform Estepona and the surrounding area and will consist of a new shopping centre, more tourism related attractions and a new recreational centre. This privately funded project has a price tag of 30 million Euros, with the local council also financing a multi-millon euro botanical park boasting the biggest orchid collection in Europe.

Elsewhere on the Costa del Sol there is due to be other development of museums, tourist attractions, theatres, and infrastructure in Velez Malaga, Malaga City, Benalmádena, Mijas (old town), Rincón de la Victoria, Alharurin del Grande, Cartama and Fuengirola. Not only will all of the projects across all of these areas on the Costa del Sol bring in more tourists, but it will boost the economy and reduce unemployment greatly.

Spain receives record tourists in July

Spain receives record tourist numbers in July
Flight arrivals increased by almost 6%

In July this year, Spain received 7.7 million international tourists, representing an increase of 4.4% over the same month last year, or 328,000 more people.

According to the Survey of Tourist Border Movements (Frontur) prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, these figures mark an all-time high in the records for monthly arrivals.

The Ministry stressed that “this increase strengthens the positive trend seen throughout the year, with the exception of the month of April.”

Germany and France were the markets that contributed most to the month’s increase, and Catalonia was the destination that registered most growth.

Accumulated in the year, from January to July, Spain received about 33 million visitors, representing a rise of 3.3% year-on-year.

1.76 million tourists arrived from the UK in July, up 0.5% from a year earlier, and their main preferred destination was the Balearic Islands, followed by Catalonia.

The second source market was France, increasing 7.7% over the previous year to 1.27 million tourists. The Ministry, headed by José Manuel Soria, pointed out that “this positive result is mainly concentrated in Catalonia, their main destination.”

Germany followed, with 1.17 million tourists (+9.7%), and Italy, with 479,607 visitors (+5.7%).

El Mundo reported that also noteworthy, is the increase in arrivals from the United States, which soared 27% in July, reaching 180,040 tourists.

In July Catalonia was the first national tourist destination, and also experienced the biggest increase of the period, in line with the positive trend held throughout the year, as explained by the Ministry.

Specifically, the region received 2.02 million tourists, up 9%, driven by the flow of arrivals from the British, French and German markets.

The Balearic Islands, in second place, saw an increase in tourists of 2.6% in July, reaching 1.98 million. Germany, traditionally its main source market, led this increase, together with a positive contribution from the UK market.

Andalusia again registered a decrease (-2.1%), marking its seventh consecutive decline, but less intense than the previous months. Specifically, the region received 933,902 tourists, and the reduction in the number of British tourists, its primary market source, explains much of this negative result.

The fourth most visited destination was the Canary Islands, which received 821,969 tourists in July, down 14%, and which breaks the trend of increases in previous months, with the exception of April.

Frontur’s data also shows that airport arrivals increased by 5.9% in July, in line with the trend experienced throughout the year.

Road travel broke the downward trend of the first half of the year, with the exception of May, and rose 1.9%.

Tourists staying in hotels rose slightly (0.8%), following the strong increases in the first half. By contrast, non-hotel accommodation in July broke from the path of decline of recent months, registering a major increase of 10.6%.

Tourists travelling on a package holiday fell for the second time this year (-4.4%), while those not on a package holiday increased by 8.3%, after the declines of earlier in the year.

Article source:

Bars and restaurants call for permission to set up smoking rooms

Bar owners want separate, ventilated areas for smokers
Bar owners want separate, ventilated areas for smokers

A year and a half on from the anti-tobacco law banning lighting up in public places, bars and restaurants are calling for smoking rooms to be allowed on their premises.

Spain’s president, Mariano Rajoy said during his electoral campaign that he was in favour of allowing catering establishments to set up separate, ventilated and sealed-off smoking zones, but health minister Ana Mató vetoed this from the start.

The issue has reared its head again amid plans for a casino city in either Barcelona or Madrid, known as Eurovegas.

But the anti-smoking law would mean far fewer customers, which prompted speculation that the rules may be changed.

Mató, however, has stated quite categorically that there is no chance of this happening.

Head of Spain’s hotel and catering federation, Emilio Gallego, says it is ‘a shame’ that for local traders’ voices to be heard, a multinational company had to speak up.

And were it not for Eurovegas, adds Gallego, the fact that numerous bars and cafés have gone out of business or lost thousands due to a sudden shortage in customers and in drinks ordered would continue to be ignored.

“A significant number – if not the majority – of bar customers smoke, and enjoy having a cigarette with their coffee or beer,” Gallego states.

“And this is now impossible in Spain, meaning losing even more points as a tourist destination.”

“I cannot see the problem with having separate smoking rooms in hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants – it’s no different to having baby changing rooms; those who don’t want to see it or be affected by it do not have to go in there.”

Article source:

Foreign tourists increase spending in Spain

Tourists still arriving
Tourists still arriving and spending

International visitors to Spain spent 9,010 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, 7.4% more than last year, according to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (EGATUR) drafted by the Institute for Tourism Studies of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

The average daily spend increased by 13.8% to 108 euros, while the average expenditure per tourist rose by 4.7% to 984 euros.

March 2012

In March, international tourists spent 3.609 million euros, 11.9% more than the same month of 2011.

British tourists contributed the most spending 631 million euros representing an increase of 10% compared to the same month in 2011. The second highest spenders were the Germans who spent a total of 598 million euros, a decrease of 0.6%, followed by tourists from the Nordic countries, who spent 507 million euros, an increase of 14.3%.

By region, Catalonia registered the largest increase in spending with a 31.2% rise, and revenues of 754 million euros, followed by the Community of Madrid, which recorded a 22.5% increase in international tourist spending and revenue of 380 million euros.

The Canary Islands registered the most income with 1,080 million euros, an increase of 3.6% over March 2011.

The average daily spend in March grew considerably by 19.3% to 115 euros.

Source markets

For the period between January and March the German market provided the largest income. German tourists spent a total of 1,519 million euros, representing 16.9% of the total, and an increase of 3.7% over the same period last year.

In the same period British tourists spent 1.467 million euros, representing a 5% increase over the same period last year and 16.3% of the total.

The Nordic countries increased spending by 10.6% to 1.243 million euros, accounting for 13.8% of the total.


The Canary Islands was the region with the highest tourist spend for the first quarter with 3.048 million euros received, an increase of 6.2% and representing 33.8% of the total tourist revenue in Spain.

Catalonia accounted for 20.2% of international tourism expenditure, an increase of 17.6% to 1.821 million euros.

The Community of Madrid, was the destination for 11.3% of international tourism expenditure, registering an increase of 14.3% to 1.022 million euros.

Accommodation and travel purpose

The number of tourists staying in hotels was 62.4%. Those tourists increased their spending by 6.5% to 5.621 million euros.

The “package-holiday” tourists spent 3,010 million, up 13.9% on the first three months of last year.

Spain is “most searched for” destination

This is according to SkyScanner who have released figures showing Spain is still the number one choice for British tourists.

In the list of top searched for countries from the UK,  Spain came out on top with the USA in second position. The top searched for cities and resorts list showed Malaga first followed by Alicante in second place and Tenerife in third proving that Spain has retained it’s position as the most popular tourist destination despite poor publicity surrounding the state of the economy.

In 2011 Spain came out on top of the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer. The report looks at the overall cost of holidays by comparing 10 key items in 14 holiday resorts and it proved that Spain is Europe’s best-value destination, with prices at a four-year low.

The report suggest some of the reasons for Spain’s popularity are the high number of package holidays available from the UK, the large British expat community of more than one million and on-the-ground holiday costs remaining low for a fourth consecutive year. These are all points that have shown to be consistent in Spain and should all ensure top spot for a number of years to come.

Spain was also the most searched for destination in Germany, Sweden and Spain.

You can read SkyScanners full report here

Costa del Sol is the cheapest

Costa del Sol still pulls in the crowds
Costa del Sol beaches still pull in the crowds

The Costa del Sol has been named as the cheapest holiday destination for British families during October.

The Post Office Travel Money carried out a half-term survey comparing the total cost of 10 items commonly purchased while on holiday in the 12 top destinations for half-term holidays

The total cost of items, including toiletries, drinks and eating out, was £59.58 on the Costa del Sol, compared to £86.28 in Turkey.

Sarah Munro, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Price is bound to be a big consideration so it is good to report falling prices in five of the destinations that attract UK families.

“… in these uncertain times people would be wise to plan their trips carefully and make sure they are fully protected. A package taken with a well-established and ATOL-protected tour operator, together with comprehensive travel insurance, is probably the safest bet.  Families can also avoid wasting cash through expensive last minute airport currency purchases and can cut costs abroad by using a credit card like the Post Office card with 0 per cent commission on purchases overseas.”

The survey found that although prices for some of the items had increased in Spain by as much as 15% in the last year it was still the cheapest destination in Europe.

The most expensive Eurozone destination, according to the survey, was Tenerife where the 10 items cost £111 (€127), 86% higher than the Costa del Sol. Miami topped the list overall with a cost of £138.87 for the 10 items.

Full details and results can be found here: