Jordi Hereu confirms a record 2023 for tourism: more than 84 million international tourists and 108 billion euros in spending

News - 2024.1.23

19/01/2024. Jordi Hereu confirms a record 2023 for tourism: more than 84 million international tourists and 108 billion euros in spending. T... The Minister for Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, at the press conference held today at the Ministry of Industry and Tourism

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The Minister for Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, has appraised "the extraordinary performance of tourism in 2023", a record year - more than 84 million international tourists, and more than 108 billion in spending at the destination, the best figures in the historical series - which has confirmed the change in the Spanish tourism model. These closing figures for 2023, as provided by Turespaña, mean that Spain exceeds the number of tourists in the pre-pandemic reference year of 2019 by 1%, and spending from the same year by 17.4%. Over 2022, the number of visitors increased 19%, and tourism spending rose 23.8%.

At a press conference held today at the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, Hereu also assured that "according to forecasts drawn up by Turespaña, the first four months of this year will be 10.8% more than the first quarter of 2023 (23 million travellers are expected in four months), with 18.5% more spending (around 30 billion euros between January and April). "We must continue to promote and care for the tourism sector, one of the pillars of our economy, with policies that make it more sustainable, fairer for workers, territories and citizens, and at the same time attractive for visitors throughout the year", Hereu stressed, who also wanted to clarify that "we must not focus solely on the battle of quantity or the number of people who visit us, but look more closely at spending at the destination and other parameters that are related to sustainability and quantity."

To complete the look at 2023, the minister referred to the historical social security membership data for the tourism sector. Last year ended with 2.5 million members, growth of 5.4% in December compared to December 2022, and there were more employees in the sector than ever before (up 6.4%). In Hereu's words, these figures indicate that "Spain has managed to reduce temporary employment and increase wages, which shows that, in tourism, as in many other sectors, we are creating a virtuous circle in which we are generating economic prosperity at the same time as extending labour rights."

In his speech, during which he was accompanied by the Secretary of State, Rosana Morillo, and the Director General of Turespaña, Miguel Sanz, the Minister for Tourism highlighted the investments made in recent years by the Government, through the European funds channelled by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which have meant more than 3.4 billion euros in aid to transform and modernise the tourism industry.

Fitur 2024: sustainability objective

A few days before the start of FITUR 2024, one of the most important tourism fairs held annually in the world, Jordi Hereu recalled the importance of this event for the tourism industry in our country. At this year's edition, the backbone of FITUR will be sustainability and accessibility, "two of the challenges that this Government has set itself during this term of office and for which we are working, together with the private sector, to make them a 100% reality", the minister pointed out.

The 44th edition of FITUR will begin at IFEMA on Wednesday 24 January for professionals, and on Saturday 27 January for the general public. This year there will be more than 8,500 exhibiting companies and 136,000 professionals and, as in previous editions, there will be specialised areas such as Fitur Woman, Fitur Talent and Fitur LGBT+.

12.5 million euros for tourism promotion

Turespaña, the public body under the Ministry of Industry and Tourism that promotes Spain as a tourist destination, invested more than 12.5 million euros in advertising and marketing campaigns in 2023 to publicise Spanish destinations in outbound countries and markets. Among the main milestones were the Picasso Year campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of the painter's death, the branded content actions with National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler and the campaign to promote Spain as a tax-free shopping destination in the United Kingdom.

At this new edition of FITUR, Turespaña will have 605m2 of space in Hall 9 of IFEMA, which will house an agora for public presentations with a capacity for 90 people, a presentation room, a space for LED screens and institutional offices. Also new this year is a panel linked to Turespaña's 40 years of campaigns with Miró's logo and a summary of the organisation's historical campaigns since its creation in 1984.

Non official translation