The Canary Islands received 1.3 million international air passengers in March, an increase of 15 percent over the same month in 2021, according to data released Tuesday by Turespaña, which shows that the archipelago accounted for 20.2 percent of foreign arrivals.
Spain received last March more than 6.5 million international air passengers, 30 percent more than in the same month last year. March was also the second month with the highest number of international passengers since 2000.
For the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, these figures show that Spanish tourism, in the first quarter of the year, “is on track to beat all records after the pandemic”. “Spain can boast of having a robust and modern tourism sector that is offering our country stability, security and a future,” he said.
He also stressed that tourism is “a source of wealth” and one of the best “letters of introduction” to the outside world. “Our objective as a government is to continue working to improve the quality of our tourism and remain at the forefront of the sector,” he said.
PORTUGAL AND THE UNITED STATES, THE FASTEST-GROWING DESTINATIONS
In the month of March Spain increased the arrival of international passengers from the main countries of origin. Of the total number of passengers, 55.6% came from the European Union, an increase of 25.8%, while the flow from the rest of the world, which accounted for the remaining 44.4%, grew by 35.7%.
In terms of countries, and comparing with the figures for 2022, the markets that recorded the greatest growth were Portugal, with 63.2% more, followed by the United States and Ireland, with 42.9% and 38.9% respectively.
For yet another month, the United Kingdom was the leading issuer by passenger volume in March (1.4 million), with an annual growth of 33.3%. This country represents 21.9% of the total share of arrivals in Spain.
The arrival of British passengers (which exceeds 3.4 million in the total so far this year) has had an impact on all the autonomous communities, but especially on the Canary Islands, which was the destination of 35.7% of its passengers.
After the United Kingdom, Germany continues to be the second country of origin of international passengers arriving in our country. A total of 873,738 passengers arrived from Germany in March (13.4% of the share), with an increase of 19%, which mainly benefited the Canary Islands (31% of the total number of passengers went to this region).
Italy, the third country of origin, accounted for 9.1% of the flow of passengers received in March (592,207 passengers in total), with a year-on-year growth of 31.4%, which particularly benefited Catalonia (32.1% of passengers) and Madrid (32%).
France issued 7.4% of the total number of passengers in March, showing a growth of 19%, which mainly benefited Madrid and Catalonia. In the case of the Netherlands, international passengers increased by 10.2% in March, with the main destinations being Valencia, Catalonia and Andalusia.
CATALONIA IS SPAIN’S FASTEST GROWING REGION
Madrid was the community with the most international arrivals last month (27.2% of the total), followed by Catalonia (20.8%) and the Canary Islands (20.2%). Of the six main regions, Catalonia recorded the highest year-on-year growth (42.6%), followed by Madrid (36.7%) and Valencia (28.2%). Growth in the six communities with the highest number of arrivals as a whole (the six together account for 97% of the total) was 29.4%.
In terms of airports, Barcelona airport experienced the highest year-on-year growth (43% compared to March 2022), followed by Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (with a growth of 36.7%). In terms of total volume, Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport reached 1.7 million international passengers in March, compared to the 1.3 million recorded at Barcelona’s El Prat airport; in third place was Málaga-Costa del Sol, with a total of 596,951 international passengers.
Of the total number of passengers arriving in Spain by air last month, the majority of them, 58.1%, chose low-cost airlines (CBC) to travel, which represents an increase of 31%, while those who travelled on traditional airlines occupied 41.9% of the remaining seats, an increase of 28.6%. Although international air passengers are not equivalent to international tourists because they also include residents in Spain returning from an international airport, the vast majority of them are tourists.