Spain Has Overtaken the United States and is the 2nd Most-visited Country in The World


It seems like the good times will continue in 2018 for Spain’s tourism sector.   Over 82 million visitors were estimated to have visited the country in 2017 according to the tourism industry.

Spain was already reaching record highs of tourism in 2016 and then 2017 grew by 4.4% both in international visitors and overall tourist spending.  This year Exceltur is expecting a further increase in 3.3%.

The impact of the Catalan crisis on tourism has had estimated effect of €319 million.  Growth for 2018 is expected to be around the range of 2.8% should the crisis continue.

Spain Keeps Breaking Its’ Own Records

Spain still had a record year with a leap of 8.9% from 2016.  Tourist spend also increased approximately 1.5% according to the tourism ministry.  Spain is now in the #2 spot globally, just behind France and ahead of the United States.

The tourism industry represents €134 billion and thus has increased its’ share of the GDP to 11.5%.  Exceltur reports that 77,501 new jobs had been created in 2017.

Increases in Tourism Mainly Came From The Americas

In 2017 German visitors fell 14% as did the UK’s by 8%.  Fewer visitors came from the Asian markets as well as from neighbouring countries like France (down 19.7%).  The decrease was mainly seen in the last quarter following the Catalan independence referendum.  Politics did not seem to affect those across the ocean as there was an increase in tourism was mainly seen from the Americas, especially from Argentina (a 74 increase) and the USA (18.2% rise). 

2018 should be another outstanding year according to Exceltur.  Predictions show a 3.3% growth which is a larger growth than the overall expectations for the Spanish economy.

Sustainable growth will now be the challenge for the future.


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