FRONTUR and EGATUR data from the National Statistics Institute (INE)

Spain receives 8.5 million international tourists in the first two months of 2023, 50% more than a year ago

News - 2023.4.3

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Spain was visited by 4.3 million international tourists in February, 35.9% more than the figure for the same month in 2022. These travellers spent €5.33 billion during their trips and stays, €1.55 billion more (41.1%) than in February last year, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Compared to 2019, the data for this February reached pre-pandemic figures (only 58,974 more tourists arrived in Spain in January 2019 than in February 2023).

In the first three months of 2023, the number of tourists visiting Spain increased by 49.1%, reaching almost 8.5 million. In the same period in 2022, 5.7 million tourists arrived. If the figure for 2023 is compared with the cumulative figure for the first two months of 2019, before the pandemic, tourist arrivals are only 1.3% lower.

For the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, "this is an exceptional start to the year for tourism, on the eve of Easter Week, which we expect to break records in terms of occupancy and spending".

In terms of spending, the February 2023 figure far exceeds pre-pandemic spending: international tourists spent €659 million more compared to February 2019.

Average spending and stay

The average spending per tourist is currently €1,233, which is an annual increase of 3.8%. Meanwhile, the average daily spending grew by 19.2% to €163.

With regard to the length of stay of the majority of tourists in February, it was four to seven nights, with almost 2.1 million and an annual increase of 37.2%. Trips of between eight and 15 nights have also experienced a strong increase of 27.1%.

In terms of purpose of travel, leisure remains the main purpose for 3.5 million tourists in February, an annual increase of 33.3%. The percentage of those travelling to our country on business increased by 65.5%.

UK, 1.5 million tourists in two months

By country, the UK, which continues to lead the outbound tourist market, with 784,496 visitors, experienced strong growth in February (35.6%) compared to the same month in 2022.

France and Germany are still the countries that come next in terms of visitors numbers. France contributed 636,530 (23.8% more in annual rate) and Germany 509,883 (30.9% more).

Among other countries of residence, the annual growth in the numbers of tourists from the US (93%), Italy (44%) and Switzerland (42.8%) stand out.

The main countries of origin in the first two months of 2023 are the UK (over 1.5 million tourists and an annual increase of 61.9%), France (with over 1.1 million, and an increase of 30.2%) and Germany (with 988,142 tourists, 47.2% more).

Strong increase in Catalonia

The Canary Islands, the top main destination for tourists in February, with 28.5% of the total number of tourists, were visited by 1.2 million tourists, 27.1% more than a year ago. The main countries of residence for tourists who visited the Canary Islands are the UK (with 33.1% of the total) and Germany (17.1%).

After the Canary Islands, Catalonia, with 21.4%, is the second community in terms of the number of international tourists who visited in February (924,464 visitors), experiencing strong growth compared to a year ago. Compared to the same month in 2022, 49.1% more tourists arrived in Catalonia in February. In terms of country of origin, 22% of visitors came from France and 8.1% from the UK.

The third main destination community according to the number of tourists who visited is Andalusia, with 611,588 and an annual increase of 43.9%. The UK was the main country of origin (with 19.2% of the total), followed by the Nordic countries (11.3%).

In the first two months of 2023, the communities that received the most tourists were the Canary Islands (with almost 2.4 million and an increase of 40.9% compared with the same period in 2022), Catalonia (with almost 1.7 million and an increase of 58.9%) and Andalusia (with more than 1.2 million, an increase of 58.1%).

Non official translation