Surge in British tourists to Spain surpasses pre-pandemic levels

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British tourists

Spain has welcomed a significant increase in British tourists in the first quarter of 2024, with numbers exceeding those before the pandemic, indicating a robust recovery and growing confidence in Spanish tourism destinations.

In the first three months of 2024, Spain saw nearly 4 million  British passengers, marking a 9% increase. This translates to an additional 318,622 UK tourists compared to the same period in 2019, according to Turespaña. Back in early 2019, 3.6 million British tourists arrived in Spain, accounting for 20.8% of all international passengers. This year, British tourists represent 19.6% of the total international arrivals.

Consistent growth across major markets

The rise in British tourists is part of a broader trend that sees increased arrivals from other key European markets as well. Italian and French tourists have also surpassed pre-pandemic figures, with increases of 23% and 13.6% respectively. However, the number of German tourists has slightly declined, with almost 20,000 fewer visitors than in the first quarter of 2019.

Cogesa Expats

Additionally, tourist arrivals from the Netherlands (up 22%), Switzerland (up 13%), Portugal (up 28%), Ireland (up 16.7%), and the United States (up 12%) have all exceeded their 2019 levels in the first quarter of the year.

Near 20 million international passengers by March

Spain has received almost 20 million international air passengers in the first quarter of 2024, an increase of 16% compared to 2023. Turespaña highlighted significant growth from markets like Poland, Switzerland, and Italy, particularly in March.

A thriving tourism sector

For Industry and Tourism Minister Jordi Hereu, these statistics are a testament to “not only the robust health of our tourism sector and international confidence in the quality of our destinations, but also the unstoppable process of des-seasonalisation of arrival flows and the end of the distinction between low and high seasons that historically characterised this industry.”

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