This year the record number of international travelers in Spain will be beaten again, surpassing 83 million in 2019, reaching 85 million in 2023, and what is more important, 100 billion euros in spending will be reached, attracting a type of foreign tourist with greater purchasing power, standing at approximately 12% over the pre-pandemic level, according to the latest study prepared by Braintrust.
In 2022 the number of international tourists in Spain has reached 71 million, still below 2019 levels by 14.3%, mainly caused by the lack of some nationalities that have seen their restrictions on movement lifted later, such as Asian or American countries, and the lack of travelers from markets close to the conflict in Ukraine, tourists who are expected to return as early as 2023.
However, the data invite optimism, since the figure for average spending per traveler grew by 10.5%, due in part to a slightly longer stay of 5.7%, which together with the rise in prices due to inflation, leads to higher total spending in the country.
Increases in Accommodation
Analyzing the data separately, Braintrust manifests a clear difference between the various expenditure items, highlighting the increase of the same in the accommodation category, with 13.1% more compared to the same period of 2019.
On the contrary, other typologies fall sharply, being the package tour the most hit with a plunge of 19.5%, transport suffering a 12.4% drop, while spending on meals and leisure activities is maintained, in view of the wide, rich, varied and experiential offer that the country has, which increasingly attracts foreign tourists.
Tourism authorities have made efforts to attract a tourist with higher spending at the destination, which seems a successful strategy. The length of average stays has been extended.
For José Manuel Brell, a partner in charge of the Quantitative Studies and Models practice, "the data suggest optimism and reflect the good work of tourism managers at both the public and private levels, although this should not be an excuse to forget the necessary transformation of the industry and adapt it to the new times and new international tourists".
With all these data in hand and with its new wave of the Tourism Barometer, Braintrust predicts that, given the current situation and with no relevant potential risks in sight, 2023 could be another record year both in the number of tourists, reaching 85 million, and in total expenditure, reaching 100 billion euro, as long as the economy maintains its forecasts both from the point of view of growth and moderation of inflation in the main markets that send tourists to Spain.
Experts emphasize that the real challenge lies in continuing the recovery while taking advantage of the opportunity to design more sustainable tourism with a greater positive impact on destinations and local communities.