According to a study conducted by the European University, the Spanish tourism industry is expected to break records. The industry is predicted to surpass its pre-pandemic figures, with 171.7 million visitors from within the country and 75.6 million from other countries.
Tourism in Spain is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2023, with an estimated 263.9 million domestic and international visitors expected this year. This would represent a 6.6% increase from 2022 figures.
Some tourist regions in Spain may become saturated due to high levels of tourism, according to a study by Dr. Francisco García Pascual of the European University. The study used data from the National Institute of Statistics to determine expected tourist numbers.
Most tourism is concentrated on the coast
In 2022, Spain welcomed 247.3 million tourists, 171.7 million domestic travelers and 75.6 million foreigners. Foreign tourists increased by an impressive 89%, while domestic tourism grew by 12%, almost reaching pre-pandemic levels.
The study examines the distribution of tourism in Spain, focusing on territorial concentrations. Although coastal areas make up only 9% of the country's surface, they attract the highest % of tourists at 48%. Urban interior areas are also popular, with 28% of visitors, while rural and mountain areas account for 16% and 8%, respectively. However, it's worth noting that Spain receives visitors from a wide range of locations, with 92% of municipalities welcoming tourists. Even "Emptied Spain," a term for less populated areas, attracts 24% of the country's tourists.
In 2022, Madrid saw a significant increase of 43% in the number of tourists who visited. This makes Madrid the top tourist destination in Spain, with 14.7 million visitors. Barcelona comes in second place with 9.2 million tourists, followed by Seville, Valencia, and Palma de Mallorca, all of with three million visitors.