Andrew J. Wein - Mar 7, 2022
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Spain received 2.48 million tourists last January, which is almost six times more tourists (+467.7%) than in the same month of 2021 (434,000), a year marked by the third wave of the pandemic and by the storm 'Filomena', as reported by the National Statistics Institute (INE in Spanish).

The nearly 2.5 million international visitor arrivals represent 60% of the total visitors who arrived in January 2020, before the start of the pandemic. "The January data confirm that the impact of the omicron variant on tourism has been less than expected, although it has slowed the pace of recovery," said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.

"While waiting to see how the war in Ukraine may affect tourist flows in the coming months, the Government of Spain is already working to find alternatives to a possible absence of Russian tourists this high season in our destinations most exposed to this market, such as Catalonia," he said.

Unlike what happened in 2021, this year starts with the United Kingdom as the leading source market, thanks to the flexibilization of health requirements for traveling between the two countries. The 363,150 tourists who visited Spain in January represent an increase of 1,461.3% over the same month last year.

France and Germany are the next countries with more tourists visiting Spain. France contributed 347,955 (195.6% more annually) and Germany 282,280 (452.2% more).

The Canary Islands was the first main destination for tourists in January, with 30.6% of the total. It was followed by Catalonia (18.6%) and Andalusia (13.0%). 759,765 tourists arrived in the Canary Islands, 777.5% more than in January 2021. The main countries of residence of tourists visiting this community are the United Kingdom (with 26.5% of the total) and Germany (19.0%).

The number of tourists visiting Catalonia increased by 442.7% to 463,661. A total of 25.3% came from France and 22.7% from the rest of Europe. The third main destination community by the number of tourists is Andalusia, with 323,896 and an annual increase of 550.5%. The United Kingdom is the main country of origin (with 14.8% of the total), followed by the Netherlands (13.8%). In the other communities, the number of tourists increased by 462.9% in Valencian Community, 447.5% in the Balearic Islands and 444.0% in Madrid.

Total spending by international tourists visiting Spain in January reached €3,027 million, which is almost seven times more (up 561.7%) compared to the same month in 2021 (€561.6 million) and 63% of January 2020 levels.

Both the average expenditure per tourist and the average stay days of tourists in January exceed the pre-pandemic levels. Thus, average spending per tourist stands at 1,217 euros (up 16.5% compared to 2021), compared to 1,155 euros in January 2020. And the average stay extends to 9.9 days (the same as in January 2021), when two years ago it was 8 days.

In terms of spending, the main issuing countries were the United Kingdom (with 14.9% of the total), Germany (13.1%) and the group of Nordic countries --Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden-- (9, 6%). The expenditure of tourists residing in the United Kingdom increased by 1,558.5% in the annual rate, that of those from Germany by 578.1% and that of the Nordic countries by 896.2%.

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