The sector maintains the pulse of its reactivation and exceeds 67 million international travelers until November, even with 12 million fewer travelers than in 2019
Tourism confirms its reactivation after the two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Initially, the sector relied on the strength of demand from Spanish customers to launch the recovery, but now it is also clinging to the improvement in business linked to foreign tourists to boost activity, which is maintaining its pulse despite international economic uncertainty.
Spain received 67.4 million international tourists between January and November, which means more than doubling the 28.2 million of last year (+138%) and with what recovers 85% of pre-pandemic arrival levels, according to data published this Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The sector has already accumulated 18 consecutive months of growth in foreign tourist arrivals after the collapse caused by the covid and the restrictions on travel to combat the pandemic, but it still maintains close to 12 million fewer tourists than before the pandemic.
Despite doubts about the strength of international customer demand after a record summer due to the blow from inflation and the economic slowdown, the truth is that activity continues to hold its own. In November, 4.34 million tourists arrived in Spain, which is 29% more than last year and recovers 93% of travelers from the same month of 2019 pre-covid.
In the absence of knowing the official data for December, the Estimates of the sector happen to have reached between 70 and 71 million international tourists in the whole of 2022, with which it will confirm its reactivation during the year compared to the 31 million of 2021, but still very far from the record of 83.7 million arrivals reached in 2019.
United Kingdom was the main issuing country between January and November with 14.4 million tourists and an increase of almost 270% in relation to last year, but still well below the more than 17 million in the last year before the pandemic. France and Germany were the next markets with the most tourists who visited Spain, with 9.4 million (+78%) and 9.3 million travelers (+94%), respectively.
In the accumulated of the first eleven months of last year, the autonomous communities that received the most tourists were Catalonia (with almost 14 million, and an increase of 167% in relation to the previous year but 24% less than in 2019), Balearics (with 13 million, 110.5% more in one year and recovering almost 96% of pre-pandemic levels) and Canary Islands (with more than 11 million, 155.0% more year-on-year and recovering 93% of the 2019 data).
The Total spending by international tourists reached 81,821 million euros between January and Novembershooting almost 161% the data of last year and recovering almost 94% of pre-pandemic levels driven by the effect of the rise in prices in the sector due to the improvement in demand and by the impact of rising inflation on companies’ costs.
In the first eleven months of the pre-pandemic 2019, the spending of international tourists reached 87,265 million euros, that is, 5,444 million more than in the same period last year, according to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (Egatur) prepared by the INE, in which all the expenditure made by travelers is computed (not only what they actually make in Spain and has a direct impact on our economy, but also includes the costs of transport that can be carried out with a foreign airline).