Spain sets new foreign tourist arrival record for sixth consecutive year

4 February 2019

A total of 82.8 million people visited the country in 2018, and spent more on average than in 2017

For the sixth year in a row, Spain has set a new record for foreign tourist arrivals. There were 82.8 million international visitors last year, a 1.1% rise from 2017, according to new figures released on Friday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

There is renewed competition from destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Greece

Despite the emergence of competing destinations and some adverse weather, there was a surge in arrivals in the last quarter of the year, particularly in December.

And figures show that tourist spending grew at an even faster pace, for a total expenditure of nearly €89.9 billion, representing a 3.3% rise from 2017.

The numbers come close to the ideal situation that the government and the tourism industry are aiming for: greater spending by tourists, but not so many arrivals as to create saturation, stretch public services thin and lead to local expressions of tourist-phobia.

The Industry, Trade and Tourism Ministry noted that average daily spending by individual tourists grew 7.4% to €146. This figure is a better approximation of what tourists actually spend in Spain, as the total expenditure figures also include plane fare, which is paid in the country of origin.

Tourism from the United States grew 11.8%

As for the average duration of the stay, it went down from 7.7 days in 2017 to 7.4 days in 2018.

The growth rate for international arrivals has also slowed down considerably: 1.1% from 2017 to 2018, compared with 8.7% from 2016 to 2017. This is partly due to renewed competition from destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Greece, which attracted more visitors from Britain and Germany, the two main source countries of tourism to Spain.

In 2018, there were 11.4 million German tourists in Spain, a 4.1% drop from the previous year, while the number of British visitors declined by 1.6% to 18.5 million. Tourism from Scandinavian countries dropped 0.7% to 5.7 million.

But these drops were offset by a jump in visitors from other countries. Tourism from the United States grew 11.8% to reach close to three million. There was also a 6.3% rise in Russian visitors, who numbered 1.2 million.

Original Story: El País – Javier Salvatierra

Foto: Paco Puentes


Spain Overtakes US to Become 2nd Most-Visited Country in the World

12 January 2018 – El País

Spain’s tourism sector is on a roll, and it looks like the good times will continue into 2018.

Last year, industry activity grew by 4.4% on the back of historic highs, both in terms of international visitors and tourist spending. This year, the business lobby Alliance for Excellence in Tourism (Exceltur) is expecting a further rise of 3.3%.

This industry leader has also estimated the impact of the Catalan crisis on tourism to be in the range of €319 million. If the crisis were to persist, the growth forecast for 2018 would shrink to 2.8%

Even though the secessionist bid shaved three-tenths of a percentage point from tourism activity in 2017, it was still a record year for Spain: over 82 million international visitors, an 8.9% leap from 2016, and a 1.5% increase in average spending per tourist, according to tourism ministry estimates released this week.

This makes Spain the world’s second-most popular tourist destination, behind France and ahead of the United States.

The tourism industry’s share of GDP has increased to 11.5%, representing €134 billion. And industry growth resulted in 77,501 new jobs in 2017, said Exceltur.

Political instability in the last quarter of the year, following the illegal independence referendum of October 1, negatively affected international tourism, particularly in geographically close markets like France, where visitor numbers were down 19.7% year on year in the October–November period. German visitor numbers fell 14% and the UK’s retreated 8%. Asian markets sent fewer visitors as well. However, tourists from the Americas grew notably in number, particularly those from Argentina (a 74% rise) and the United States (18.2%).

Slower growth in 2018

Exceltur said that 2018 “will be another excellent year” and predicted 3.3% growth for the tourism sector, higher than the forecast for the Spanish economy as a whole but lower than in the last two years – and that is without factoring in the potential effects of a protracted crisis in Cataluña.

The lower growth figure can be partially explained by a gradual recovery of alternative destinations that compete directly with Spain, such as Turkey, where terrorist attacks have driven tourism down.

“The challenge for the tourism industry now is to ensure sustainable growth with a view to the future,” said José Luis Zoreda, executive vice-president of Exceltur, at a news conference.

Despite the optimistic forecast, Exceltur is warning about a drop in revenues in early 2018: 10% for hotels, 6.8% for car rental companies, and 3.5% for transportation firms. The business association said “there will be staff adjustments” to make up for these losses.

Original story: El País (by Nahiara S. Alonso)

Edited by: Carmel Drake

C&W: Overseas Investors Will Spend $5,000M On Spanish Retail Sector In 2017

27 March 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

The Spanish real estate sector will receive around $5,000 million of new foreign capital in its commercial spaces, according to the international Great Wall of Money report published by Cushman & Wakefield.

The study reveals that these figures remain at a similar level to those seen last year and place Spain in 13th position in the ranking of the leading destinations for real estate capital, ahead of countries such as Brazil and Italy.

At the global level, the real estate services company calculates that the volume of added capital for real estate investment in 2017 will amount to $435,000 million, a slight decrease compared to the peak of last year, but still the second highest figure since 2009. (…).

The amount of capital invested in the EMEA region will decrease by 9%, to $130,000 million, whilst the amount invested in the Americas region will rise by 2%, to $173,000 million. Meanwhile, the continent of Asia will also experience a slight increase in its level of investment, to $132,000 million, whereby exceeding that seen in the EMEA region. (…).

In addition to the new investment strategies, new sources of capital are expected to open up in several different parts of the world, with countries such as China, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Africa leading the way.

More concentrated investment strategies

Investors are increasingly focusing on single countries rather than deploying capital across multiple borders. Investment in single states now accounts for 61% of available capital, up by 55% over the last three years. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s estimates, the United States will likely remain the largest target investment market in 2017. Although activity there slowed during 2016, the volume of money is still high and many investors continue to have a low allocation of resources in the sector.

China is expected to continue as the second-ranked destination country, with the majority of capital invested there coming from domestic funds. (…). The third most attractive market is the United Kingdom, although Cushman & Wakefield expect the volume of capital being directed there to decrease somewhat, due to the prudence of some investors in light of the Brexit negotiations (…).

The USA exceeds the EMEA region

For the first time, the Americas ($79,000 million) have more equity available for investment than the EMEA region ($72,000 million). (…). The decrease in the volume of equity available in EMEA is to a large extent, the result of the high dollar. Almost 80% of the funds focusing on Europe present their results in Euros or Pounds Sterling, and so the currency effect represents a key component. (…).

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake