Data from Turespaña

Spain closes the year 2022 with more than 80 million international passengers

News - 2023.1.18

In December, passengers from international airports reached 5.7 million, meaning that 95% of pre-pandemic passengers have been recovered.

For the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, these figures show that "2022 has been the year of the recovery of our tourism. We have seen this with the excellent employment figures made public yesterday, with record numbers of members in the tourism sector, and we see it today with the arrival of international passengers, guaranteeing the strength of the sector and hopefully prelude to a record 2023, a year that will also mark the definitive transition towards a quality tourism model".

Increase in all countries

The month of December saw an increase in passengers departing from all major countries. The markets that have seen the greatest recovery compared to pre-pandemic figures, are Ireland, with 140,602 passengers (up 14.2% on 2019), followed by France, with 492,101 passengers (up 5.8%) and Portugal, with 216,833 passengers (up 4.0% on the same month in 2019). In the year as a whole, 2.2 million travellers came from Ireland, 6.5 million from France and 2.6 million from Portugal.

In terms of volume, the UK was the leading point of origin for passengers (1,158,536), representing 20.1% of the total share, followed by Germany with 726,697 (12.6% of the share) and Italy with 532,877 (9.3%).

The arrival of British passengers (18.5 million in the year as a whole) has had an impact on all the autonomous communities, but especially on the Canary Islands; this community has also benefited from the arrival of German passengers (11.9 million in 2022), while the arrival of Italians (7.1 million in the whole of last year) mainly benefited Madrid and Catalonia.

Catalonia: highest annual growth

Madrid was the region with the most arrivals in December (1.6 million, 29.1% of the total share) and also in 2022 (18.2 million, representing 22.7% of the total number of autonomous communities), followed by the Canary Islands (1.3 million in December and 18.2 in 2022) and Catalonia (1.1 million in the last month of the year and 15.8 million in the annual accumulated total).

Of the six main autonomous communities with the most arrivals, Catalonia recorded the highest year-on-year growth (57.8% compared to December 2021). With respect to December 2019, the Canary Islands is the only one to show a recovery in arrivals in December(6.9%).

Of the total number of passengers arriving in Spain by air, 56.2% flew on a low-cost airline, 3% less than in 2019, compared to 43.8% who opted for a traditional airline, 7.5% less than pre-pandemic. Although international air passengers are not all international tourists because they also include residents in Spain returning from an international airport, they are tourists in the vast majority of cases.

Non official translation