Record number of foreign tourists flocked to Spain in 2023 spending more than a whopping 100 billion euros

Record number of foreign tourists flocked to Spain in 2023 spending more than a whopping 100 billion euros

The latest data for November shows 80 million international visitors arrived in the country in just 11 months, more than in the bumper year before the pandemic and, additionally, they spent around 17% more

Wednesday, 3 January 2024, 15:53


Tourism has once again consolidated its position as Spain's main driver of economy. The arrival of foreign tourists in 2023 is set to beat the all-time record of 2019, before the pandemic broke out, and has already surpassed the spending record of that year, according to data published today (Wednesday, 3 January 2024) by INE national institute of statistics.

A total of 79.8 million international tourists arrived in Spain between January and November - close to the 83.9 million who came in the whole of 2019 - and they spent 101 billion euros, which exceeds the 92.278 billion recorded then and with still a month left to go close the year.

Visits up to November are 18% higher than last year and 1% higher than in 2019, but spending is even better than these figures, which reinforces the Government's commitment to attract higher quality tourism that will bring more income to the sector.

Minister of Industry and Tourism, Jordi Hereu, said: "tourist arrivals and spending at the destination have accelerated notably in the second half of the year, especially in the months that were historically considered low season, with double-digit growth, which has a very positive impact on the national economy, both in terms of GDP and employment".

The deseasonalisation of tourism is the key factor for having beaten the 2019 record, with very mild autumn temperatures, that boosted travel numbers even in October and November. The INE data reveals that in November alone Spain received 5.1 million tourists, 10% more than in the same month of 2019, who spent 6.65 billion euros, 31% more than in 2019. The average expenditure per tourist in November was close to 1,300 euros, and the average daily expenditure rose to 173 euros.

In the year to November, total spending by international tourists rose by 24% to more than 101 billion euros. If this figure is compared with the data for 2019, before the pandemic, tourist spending is 16.9% higher. The countries that spent the most in Spain were the United Kingdom (with 16% of the total), Germany (12%) and the Nordic countries (9.6%).

Most popular regions in Spain

The Spanish regions that received the most tourists from January to November were Catalonia (17 million visitors, an increase of 21% compared to the same period in 2022), the Balearic Islands (14.2 million, up 9%) and the Canary Islands (12.6 million, up 13%).

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