Theodore Slate - Apr 25, 2016
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Sports tourism in Spain has exceeded 10 million visitors, growing by 9.57% annually. Spanish tourists spend EUR 595 million on sports-related travel. Catalonia is the community with the largest supply of sporting venues, shows a recent research.

According to the data of a study by The Ostelea School of Tourism & Hospitality, Spaniards spent nearly EUR 595 million on sports-related travel in 2014, which represents a 2% increase over the previous year, and 29.3% more than in 2009. In addition, spending on sports-related goods and services also saw a 3% increase.

The study entitled 'Sports Tourism in Spain 2014' shows that a total of 10.3 million international tourists arrived in Spain for sporting purposes in 2014, representing a 9.57% increase over 2013. According to the study, of all the tourists arriving in Spain for leisure, 16.9% did so with sports tourism as an underlying reason.

In 2014, Spanish residents made a total of 3.1 million trips for reasons related to sports, 9% more than in the previous year and 50.8% more than in 2009. Some 84% of these trips were bound for Spain.

"Each year sports tourism is becoming more and more important to the travel offerings in the country and we realize how much the international tourist appreciates it; this is one more reason to travel, similar to leisure and culture," said Ostelea’s Director of Research, Marc Sanso.

Spanish spending on sports tourism reaches about EUR 600 million. Men spent more than women, contributing 31.2% to the increase compared with the women’s 26.6%.

There was a 1% increase per trip in local tourist spending on sports tourism, amounting to an average of EUR 206. However, this figure has suffered a decline since 2010, when average spending increased by 15.9%.

Moreover, total spending on sports-related goods and services by Spanish residents rose by 3% in 2014, coinciding with the total since 2009, i.e. 3%. Average spending per person has also remained practically stable at EUR 93.2 per year in 2014, 1% more than in 2013.

According to the study conducted by Ostelea, Catalonia is the autonomous community with the largest supply of sports venues (32,128), followed by Andalusia with 25,527. But when the figures are adjusted for comparison with the population of each community, the Balearic Islands, with 6.9 sports facilities per 1,000 people, tops the list of sports-related facilities. Last on the list are Madrid with only 2.3 venues per 1,000 residents and Ceuta with 2.

In 2014 Andalusia was the autonomous region with the highest spending on sports-related goods and services (EUR 768.8 million euros). Castilla y Leon and the Balearic Islands are the autonomous communities with the highest growth in spending on sports-related goods and services.

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