The Spanish tourism industry has continued to grow in 2023, with over 66.5 million tourists visiting the country in the first nine months—an increase of almost 19% compared to the same period in 2022. This growth is also reflected in the amount tourists spent, which has risen to over 84.6 billion, a 24% increase.
Following a successful summer season, the Spanish tourism industry seems to be on track for a record-breaking year. The number of tourists visiting Spain has already increased by 18.8% in the first nine months of 2023, surpassing the 56 million who arrived during the same period in 2022.
Although the accumulated figure for 2023 is 0.6% lower than the number of tourists who arrived in the first nine months of 2019 (before the pandemic), this still represents a significant improvement. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) released these figures.
This data suggests that the number of travelers will increase, surpassing the historical milestone of 83.7 million in 2019, based on October's numbers and the reservations handled by airlines and hotels for November and December.
The United Kingdom remains the top tourist source for Spanish tourism, with almost 13.8 million tourists visiting Spain until September, an increase of 14.6% compared to the previous year. France follows closely with nearly 9.4 million tourists and an increase of 18%, while Germany also showed a considerable increase of 9.6% with almost 8.5 million visitors.
During the first nine months of the year, Catalonia received the highest number of tourists, with almost 14.2 million visitors, an increase of 22.2% compared to the same period in 2022. The Balearic Islands were expectedly the second most visited destination, with almost 12.6 million tourists, showing an increase of 8.6%. The Canary Islands were the third most popular site, with almost 10 million tourists, showing a growth of 14.1%.
Tourist spending has increased by 24% in the first nine months of the year, reaching about 84.6 billion euros. The good news is that this spending is 15.1% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The United Kingdom had the highest increase in spending (18.7% of the total) in the first nine months of 2023, according to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (Egatur), followed by Germany (11.9%) and France (9.3%). The regions with the highest level of spending until September were Catalonia (with 19.5% of the total), the Balearic Islands (18.3%), and the Canary Islands (17.2%).