Spain was the second-most visited tourist destination in the world in 2017. With a record of 82 million visitors last year, double the resident population, Spain has dethroned the USA as the second-most popular destination, behind only France which continues in first place.
In an announcement this week, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that while 2016 saw record-breaking visitor figures, 2017 surpassed expectations with a 9% rise in foreign visitors. It is also the first time Spain exceeded the number of holiday-makers who chose the USA as their destination of choice.
Catalunya, which includes Barcelona is the most-visited region with 18.2 million tourists last year, though lower than previous years. The Balearics saw the most foreign holidaymakers in 2017, with 13.7 million, just ahead of the Canary Islands with 13 million.
Andalucia, which includes the Costa del Sol is the fourth most visited region in Spain, welcoming 11 million tourists from abroad, followed by Valencia with 8.5 million and Madrid with 6.2 million.
Tourists who visited Spain in 2017 spent an average of €1,061 during their stay including accommodation, which is a 3.1% rise on the previous year’s figures. The average daily spend was €137, a rise of 4.4%.
Unveiled at the recent Southern European Summit, the data was presented alongside a short statement by President Rajoy where he spoke of the unprecedented turn in the Spanish economy. The tourism industry brought an incredible €87 billion into the country last year, up by 12% on 2016 - meaning Spain now earns more money from tourism than any other country in the world except France.
Extremely positive news for anyone seeking to invest in property in Spain in 2018.