Spain will receive 19% more tourists in the first half of this year than in the same period in 2019. It seems a clear sign that 2024 will be a year of growth and consolidation of tourism for Spain.
The number of international tourists visiting Spain will increase again next year. The cities of Madrid and Malaga are expected to see the highest growth in 2024. These are the key conclusions about international visitor figures from Julia Simpson, CEO of the global travel and tourism industry association, WTTC.
Total growth of 19 percent
According to Simpson, increases compared to 2019, before the pandemic, could be up to 25% for Malaga and 30% for the capital Madrid. Spain will receive 19% more tourists in the first half of this year than in 2019. A clear example of consolidation and growth of tourism in Spain, according to the CEO of the WTTC.
The growth in the number of international tourists from Colombia, Ireland and Sweden is the greatest. These countries have surpassed 2019 levels by 65%, 62% and 51% respectively. The number of travellers from the UK (30%) and France (20%) is also growing.
Spain has a growing group of tourists who opt for luxury holidays. According to Simpson, the income level of visitors has been increasing since last year. However, people who come for a beach holiday or a culinary stay will continue to choose Spain.
New competitive destinations
Spain has a balanced tourism market and ranks second when it comes to international tourism. Nevertheless, there is increasing international competition. New players in the industry are investing in attracting tourists. For example, countries in Asia or the Gulf States have seen a boom in tourists in recent years. These are new destinations that want to compete with more traditional holiday destinations such as Spain and Greece. However, according to the chairman of the WTTC, Spain continues to make efforts to remain attractive to tourists. For example, by adapting to the changing demand of travellers and profiling itself as a destination for tourists who are looking for more luxury.
Simpson also spoke out about the sustainability challenges in the tourism sector. Spain’s task, among other things, is to support small and medium-sized tourism businesses in the transition to more sustainable energy. She also says that it is necessary to switch to more electric transport throughout the supply chain. Although Spain is well on its way to a more sustainable tourism sector, the head of the WTTC believes that there is still room for improvement. She therefore encourages Spain to support small businesses and hotels in the transition to sustainable energy. The group of small and medium-sized tourism businesses represents around 70% of the Spanish market and, according to Simpson, needs help in the transition to a greener tourism sector.