Complete shift in foreign tourism in Spain

by Deborah Cater
Foreign tourism in Spain looks completely different in 2021
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Not only has tourism in Spain completely collapsed, there has also been a significant shift in the origin of tourists who visit Spain in corona time. The INE figures show a dramatic change among French, British and German tourists.

In 2021, the vast majority of tourists in Spain will be from France. This is evident from the data of the National Institute for Statistics (INE). In every other year, the statistics show predominantly British, Germans and Americans visit Spain. However, in Covid times this picture is completely different.

France not previously made top spot for foreign tourism 

If the trend continues throughout the year, it will be the first time that the majority of tourists in Spain came from France. France is rarely in the top 3 spots and normally comes after the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2021, however, these figures will be very different.

The number of French tourists this year appears to be double the number of tourists from Germany. Plus, the number of French tourists appears to be five times more than the number of British tourists in Spain.

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One of the main reasons for this shift is the travel restrictions of both Germany and the United Kingdom.

France exceeds number of tourists from other countries

Based on the INE figures, the Spanish news site La Sexta mapped the number of tourists in 2021. This takes into account the fact that tourism is still experiencing a historic low in 2021; in February, tourism in Spain fell by 93.6% compared to February 2020. Nevertheless, Spain received 74,797 tourists from France this year compared to 36,856 from Germany, 14,319 from the United Kingdom and 5,411 from the United States.

The French prefer to go to the Canary Islands

Earlier reports came mainly from Madrid as French tourists visited the Spanish capital en masse to soak up the local culture. The INE figures also confirm the migration of French tourists to Madrid: in January and February, 77,139 French went to the region.

Nevertheless, the figures show the French prefer to spend the beginning of 2021 in the Canary Islands (160,849 French tourists in January and February) and in Catalonia (139,285 French tourists in the first two months of 2021).

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