Foreign visitor numbers to Spain rise by 7.5%

Posted on March 1st, 2012 in Real Estate in Spain by editor

Figures released by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade confirm that Spain’s popularity with visitors from abroad has risen further still. Spain welcomed some 24.8 million foreign tourists in the first 6 months of 2011, which represents a healthy 7.5% rise compared to the same period last year.

June’s figures were even better with an 8.5% increase compared to the previous year, which means 5.7 million foreign visitors returned to Spain as their preferred holiday destination. The British love affair with Spain continues to grow with a 9.6% increase year-on-year in the first 6 months of 2011.

In fact, the UK provided the greatest number of tourists overall with 1.5 million visiting Spain in June, which was an increase by 80,000 visitors compared to last year’s visitor numbers. As in previous years, the Brits loved the Balearic and Canary Islands best, as well as Andalusia.

The second largest group of foreign visitors came from Germany this year with a respectable 0.9% increase in June. Germans preferred destinations like the Balearic Islands and Catalonia for their holidays.

Holiday Favourites

In fact, the Balearic Islands were the favourite destination for holiday makers in June, welcoming 1.5 million visitors. With 1.4 million visiting Catalonia, the region is in second place, while 800,000 tourists preferred to holiday in Andalusia. The Canary Islands welcomed 660,000 foreign visitors. Valencia managed to provide a holiday home for 535,000 guests.

French tourists have also returned in greater numbers to Spain. In June 760,000 visited Spain, an 8.9% increase to 2010, while overall in the first 6 months of 2011 French tourists accounted for a 4.9% increase on the previous year. This summer Irish visitor numbers rose by 15.1% on the previous summer months and tourist numbers from Switzerland increased by 13.1% for the same period.

Hotels see Occupancy Rates increase

El Pais reported that Spain’s hotels booked in 30.6 million overnight stays this June. According to figures released by the National Statistics Institute this represents a rise of 10.9% compared to the same month last year. The rise in overnight stays was largely due to foreign visitors (up by 18.1%), since Spain’s home-grown tourists reduced their overnight stays by 0.7%. However, in the first half of this year the overall result was 6.9% better than last year.

In June the occupancy rate meant that 58.9% of rooms were taken, that’s an increase of 8.5% on June 2010. The weekend occupancy rate has also increased and is now a respectable 65.6%, representing a year-on-year increase of 6.7%.

Prices held well and only fell by 0.1%, which equates to 0.7 of a point above the June 2010 room rate. The average stay per room works out to 3.5 nights in June per person, representing an increase of 2.3% compared to the same period last year. At an average room rate of €66.40 hotels were able to charge 40 cents more this June than they were able to in 2010.

German and British travellers accounted for 10.9 million overnight bookings in June 2011, which equates to a 20% increase for German visitor numbers and an increase of 8.3% for the British market.

Occupancy rates for French, Italian and Russian visitors staying overnight increased by 26.3%, 24.0% and 72.8% respectively compared to the same period last year.

As stated above, the favourite destination with foreign visitors were still the Balearic Islands. The Balearics experienced a 19.1% increase for rooms occupied by foreign tourists. Catalonia is in second place with a year-on-year increase of 23.3% for occupancy rates. The Canary Islands can hold their own with a 16.4% increase in overnight stays from foreign guests.

Spanish residents preferred Andalusia, Catalonia and Valencia as their holiday destination and here the overnight stays increased by 0.9%, 1.1% and 2.9% respectively for the same period compared to 2010.


Comments are closed.