Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, with the government revealing that a total of 30.2 million international tourists entered the country in the first six months of 2022.

The high figure is estimated to be around 80% of pre-pandemic visitor levels, indicating that Spain is heading in the right direction in terms of tourism recovery.

Spain enjoys tourism recovery, almost at pre-pandemic levels

The Spanish government went on to specify certain details regarding tourist behaviour in the country. It was revealed that the average spending amount per traveller was €1,205. The average stay was reported to be 6.9 days, which is a 10% increase from the same month in 2019.

The government revealed that 7.5million international tourists were registered as arriving in June. The total expenditure for tourists that month was found to be nearly €9 billion. This figure is 93% of the amount that was spent during the same period back in 2019, indicating more signs of tourism reaching pre-pandemic levels.

Where are tourists in Spain travelling from?

The data also indicated that around 24.2% of visitors came from the United Kingdom, the region which is regarded as the main source market for Spanish tourism, with 1.8 million visitors in June. The main destinations for these British tourists were cited as the Canary Islands, Andalusia, as well as the Valencian Community.

Germany and France were also regraded as having the most visitors in Spain. There were 1.1 million German tourists registered in June, while France saw 865,973 of its people travel to France. The most popular destinations for German and French tourists were the Balearic Islands and Catalonia, respectively.

7.5 million international tourists were registered as arriving in Spain in June. (Photo: Pikist)
7.5 million international tourists were registered as arriving in Spain in June. (Photo: Pikist)

The most popular tourist destinations in Spain

Data provided by the government of Spain also shone light on the most popular tourist destinations in the country, for the first months of 2022.

Catalonia saw six million visitors. The Canary Islands registered 5.7 million visitors, while the Balearic Islands registered 5.2 million.

When looking at percentage totals, 26.3% of tourists travelled to the Balearic Islands, 21.6% visited Catalonia, while 13.5% visited Andalucia.

“Spain maintains its competitiveness”

“The data shows that, despite the context of international uncertainty, Spain maintains its competitiveness and a good rate of recovery and continues to be the preferred destination of millions of tourists”, said Reyes Maroto, the Minister of Industry for Trade and Tourism.

“In addition, we maintain the commitment that we are making from the Government to attract a higher quality international visitor, who finds in his visit many more reasons and experiences to increase spending and stay in our country.”

Spain rolls out free train tickets

One way Spain will be engaging with and incentivising tourists is through a new public transport initiative. Tourists will be eligible for free train tickets on state-owned Renge trains. The initiative will be implemented later this year.

“If a foreign tourist is a frequent user of the [train] network, he can make use of this subscription. If they want to complete the trips, they will not be asked for any type of card”, one source said, as reported by The Local.

The free train tickets will apply to all tourists, regardless of the region they travelled from.

“It is hoped that the free train travel will entice more visitors to Spain and continue the sector’s post-pandemic recovery, which for the first six months of the year exceeded pre-pandemic (2019) levels by 1.1 percent”, reported The Local.

Which Spanish cities will see high demand in the winter period

With Spain enjoying a successful year so far, it may be significant to note which destinations could be high-demand during the winter period.

Madrid is one of the most popular Spanish destinations during this period, especially with Winter Wonderland-like public lights, decorations and activities.

Barcelona is considered to be another of the most in-demand destinations for the winter and Christmas period, especially as it is a shopping destination for many travellers.

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