canary islands

Canary Islands air passengers increase 14.8% to over 4.3 million in first quarter

In the first quarter of 2024, the Canary Islands experienced a 14.8% increase in international air passengers, contributing to nearly 20 million arrivals in Spain, with notable growth from the UK, Germany, and Italy, and significant boosts in travel from non-EU countries like China and Canada.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Canary Islands saw a significant increase in international air passengers, with more than 4.3 million arrivals, marking a 14.8% rise compared to 2023. Notably, in March alone, the islands welcomed 1.5 million passengers, an 18.5% increase from the previous year. This data, provided by Turespaña, emphasizes the robust growth in travel to the region.

Meanwhile, Spain as a whole also experienced a surge in international passenger traffic, with nearly 20 million arrivals, an increase of 16%. The growth in March was particularly strong in markets from Poland, Switzerland, and Italy, indicating a broad-based recovery in travel.

Jordi Hereu, the Minister of Industry and Tourism, interpreted these statistics as indicators of the robust health of Spain’s tourism sector and international confidence in the quality of its destinations. He highlighted the ongoing shift towards a more evenly distributed tourism season, moving away from the traditional peaks and troughs associated with summer and winter travel.

Canary Islands air passengers increase 14.8% to over 4.3 million in first quarter

The upward trajectory continued into March, with a 16.8% year-on-year increase in international air passengers, totaling 7.6 million. European Union travelers, who constituted 57% of the total, increased by 19.9%, while those from other parts of the world grew by 13.9%. Noteworthy increases were recorded from Poland (80.4%), Germany (22.2%), Switzerland (21.4%), and Italy (21.2%).

The diversification of markets also showed significant gains, particularly from China, South Korea, and Canada, where the growth rates exceeded 100%.


The United Kingdom remained a major contributor to Spain’s tourism, accounting for 20.7% of total arrivals in March, with 1.6 million British travelers. The Canary Islands attracted the majority of these travelers, underscoring its popularity among British tourists. The Valencian Community, Andalusia, Catalonia, and Galicia also benefited from the influx, each recording double-digit growth rates.

Canary Islands air passengers increase 14.8% to over 4.3 million in first quarter

German arrivals exceeded one million, favoring destinations like the Canary and Balearic Islands. Italy’s contributions were also robust, with significant impacts on Catalonia and the Community of Madrid.

France’s share stood at 7.5%, with notable increases favoring regions like Madrid, Catalonia, and Valencia. The Dutch market, accounting for 4.8% of the total, predominantly chose low-cost airlines and favored Catalonia, Valencia, and Andalusia as top destinations.

Andalusia recorded the most substantial regional increase at 22.5%, highlighting its growing appeal. Madrid-Barajas led in arrivals, followed by Barcelona and Malaga, which also saw significant year-on-year growth.

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