According to data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) last Friday, the Canary Islands experienced a significant uptick in international tourism and associated spending in the first seven months of 2023. A total of 7,9 million international tourists visited the archipelago, marking a 16.3% increase over the same period in 2022. These tourists contributed a whopping 11,386 million euros to the local economy, an uptick of 17.4% compared to last year.
Positioned as the third most visited autonomous community in Spain up to July, the Canary Islands trailed only Catalonia, which received over 10,200,000 million tourists (a 27% year-over-year increase), and the Balearic Islands, with more than 8,100,000 tourists (a 9% increase).
Zooming into July alone, the Canary Islands welcomed just over 1,000,000 international tourists, a 4% year-over-year increase. The United Kingdom was the dominant source market, accounting for 41.9% of the total arrivals, followed by Germany with 14.5%. The islands made up 10.6% of Spain’s national share of international tourists for the month.
When it comes to tourist spending, the Canary Islands were second only to Catalonia. Tourist expenditure in Catalonia ballooned by 30.6% to 11,555 million euros during the first seven months. The average spending per tourist in the Canary Islands reached 1,445 euros, increasing by 0.93%, at a daily rate of 168 euros, a rise of 6.32%. The average trip lasted 8.6 days, which is 5.1% shorter than in previous periods.
MILLIONS IN SPENDING
Nationwide, Spain welcomed 47.6 million international tourists between January and July, a 20.9% surge compared to the same timeframe in 2022. These tourists spent nearly 60,000 million euros, a 25.3% year-over-year increase. Interestingly, this figure is still 0.8% less than what was recorded in the first seven months of 2019.
The UK, France, and Germany were the top three countries sending tourists to Spain, with the UK leading at nearly 9.8 million tourists, a 16.9% annual increase. Notably, tourists from the United States, Portugal, and Italy exhibited remarkable annual growth rates of 28.9%, 18.5%, and 17.8% respectively.
As for July, the month saw Spain host 10.1 million international tourists, an 11.4% increase from July 2022. The UK remained the primary source, contributing more than 2 million tourists, a 7% increase from the previous July. France and Germany followed, sending 1.6 million and over 1.1 million tourists respectively.
Regionally, the Balearic Islands were the top destination in July, accounting for 24.1% of total tourist arrivals. Catalonia was next with 22.9%, and Andalusia with 13.3%. Tourist spending increased most significantly in Andalusia, at a rate of 26.2%.
Various modes of entry saw growth as well, with airports being the primary entry point, handling nearly 7.9 million tourists in July—a 10.7% annual increase. Road, port, and rail entries also saw increases of 12.6%, 24.5%, and 33.3% respectively.
Accommodation-wise, market accommodation saw a 6.8% increase in annual rate, with hotels growing by 1.5% and rented accommodations by 49%. Non-market accommodations like staying with friends and family grew by a striking 38.3%.
Overall, tourists who visited Spain in July 2023 spent close to 60 billion euros, a significant rise of 25.3% compared to the same period last year. The data suggests that despite ongoing global challenges, Spain’s tourism industry is on a robust recovery trajectory.