In an unambiguous signal of Spain’s renewed allure on the international stage, American tourists have been voting with their wallets. And by all indications, they’re quite smitten with the Iberian country.
The National Institute of Statistics and Turespaña recently laid out some riveting facts. Between January and June, there was a 17% increase in the arrival of US travellers to Spain, compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. And not just in sheer numbers, but the actual spending by these tourists has skyrocketed by a remarkable 34%.
Growing appeal of Spain’s destinations
Industry, Trade, and Tourism Minister Héctor Gómez weighed in on the good figures. “The remarkable growth of tourists from the US underlines the growing appeal of our destinations. It’s a testament to the high-quality offerings we have, proving Spain’s position as a top choice for discerning tourists,” he noted, emphasising the surge in this high-income market in Spain.
Arrivals from the US surged by 42%
From a broader perspective, the numbers look even more promising. June alone saw a 42% surge in arrivals from the US compared to the same period in 2022, with the numbers crossing half a million travellers. Cumulatively, over the first half of the year, Spain welcomed more than 1.8 million US citizens – a hefty 55% increase from the previous year.
Increased flight operations
Several factors are playing into this surge, with increased flight operations between the two nations being pivotal. United Airlines, for instance, inaugurated two new routes from New York to Mallorca and Tenerife in 2022. May of this year saw the addition of yet another route to Málaga, bringing the total direct connections between the two countries to an impressive 23.
A significant uptick in spending
While increased arrivals are certainly noteworthy, it’s the significant uptick in spending that stands out. Data from Turespaña, as cited by El Mundo, reveals that US tourists shelled out a staggering €3.6 billion in just the first six months of the year. Though this figure represents only 8% of the total international tourist expenditure in Spain, it assumes greater significance when viewed against 2019’s numbers – marking an increase of 34%.