Spain concluded a highly successful summer with a remarkable influx of international tourists in August, totaling 10.1 million visitors. This figure represents a substantial 13.9% increase compared to the tourist arrivals in August 2022, as reported by the National Statistics Institute (INE). Furthermore, the tourism sector contributed significantly to the country’s economy, with tourist spending in August reaching an impressive 13,529 million euros, marking a substantial growth of 19.9% compared to the same month the previous year.
In the first eight months of the year, Spain has welcomed a total of 57.7 million tourists, reflecting an impressive 19.6% growth compared to the same period in the previous year. During this period in 2023, total tourist expenditure amounted to 73,393 million euros, a remarkable 24.3% increase compared to the same period the previous year, and it surpassed the figures from 2019 by 14.9%.
Héctor Gómez, the acting Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We are closing an extraordinary summer with figures that confirm the full recovery of a sector that is not only the main driver of our economy but also a powerful industry that generates more and more high-quality jobs; also wealth that permeates both society and the territories.”
The Minister of Tourism also emphasized the exceptional performance of tourist arrivals from the United States and Switzerland, markets with substantial purchasing power. Visitors from these countries seek unique experiences in an increasingly competitive and innovative tourism landscape, in which Spain is a global leader.
Rising average and daily expenditure
In August, the average spend per tourist amounted to 1,343 euros, reflecting a notable annual increase of 5.3%. Furthermore, the average daily expenditure increased by 6.7% compared to the previous year, reaching 173 euros.
On average, international tourists stayed for 7.7 days during their trips, a duration similar to that of August 2022. The majority of tourists had a stay ranging from four to seven nights, totaling more than 4.6 million visitors in this category, marking an annual increase of 13.9%.
USA: the fastest growing market
In August, the United Kingdom was the leading source of tourists to Spain, with 2 million visitors, accounting for 20.1% of the total and experiencing a 10% increase compared to August 2022.
France and Germany followed as the next significant countries contributing tourists to Spain, with 1.9 million and 1.2 million visitors, respectively. France witnessed a substantial 17.9% annual growth, while Germany showed a 5.8% increase.
Notably, tourists from the United States demonstrated remarkable growth, with a 29.5% increase compared to the previous August. Switzerland also recorded a substantial growth of 24.1%, and Ireland marked a 22.4% increase. In the first eight months of 2023, Spain welcomed 2.5 million US tourists and 1.3 million Swiss tourists.
Furthermore, there was significant growth in tourists arriving from the rest of the Americas (excluding the US), with a remarkable 40.9% year-on-year increase. Tourists from the rest of the world also increased by 29.9%.
In terms of spending in July, the main contributors were the UK (18.5% of total spending), France (9.6%), and Germany (11.6%). Spending by tourists from the United Kingdom increased by 15% annually, while French tourists’ spending rose by 22.6%, and German tourists increased their spending by 9.8%.
Top destinations in Spain
In the first eight months of 2023, Catalonia, with nearly 12.3 million tourists and a growth rate of 24.1%, received the highest number of tourists, followed by the Balearic Islands with almost 10.5 million tourists and an 8.6% increase. The Canary Islands welcomed over 8.9 million tourists, marking a growth of 14.5%.
Focusing on the month of August, the Balearic Islands stood out as the primary destination for tourists, attracting 23.3% of the total visitors. It was followed by Catalonia (21.1%) and Andalusia (14.3%).
The Balearic Islands hosted 2.3 million tourists in August, a 7.3% increase from August 2022. The United Kingdom was the primary source of tourists to this region, accounting for 26.3% of the total, closely followed by Germany at 25.2%.
Catalonia welcomed more than 2.1 million tourists in August, marking an 11.7% increase, with 26.5% coming from France and 12.3% from the United Kingdom.
Andalusia, the third most popular destination in terms of tourist numbers, hosted over 1.4 million tourists in August, experiencing an annual increase of 11.2%. The United Kingdom was the primary country of origin, accounting for 20.8% of the total, followed by France at 14%.