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Spain notches up record tourism and spending in 2017 and overtakes USA 


Spanish tourism hit a new all-time record for inbound tourists in 2017, with the arrival of 82 million tourists.

This represents an increase of 8.9% increase on the figure for 2016, according to estimates for the year-end drawn up on the information provided by Turespaña and the statistics provided by the FRONTUR and EGATUR surveys of the National Institute of Statistics.

These figures mean that Spain has overtaken the United States for the first time and holds second place in terms of the number of inbound tourists, behind only France.

Total spending by tourists visiting Spain amounted to 87 billion euros, also a record figure, which amounts to a 12.4% increase on the previous year. Furthermore, average spending per tourist enjoyed growth of 3.1% in 2017, to stand at 1,061 euros per person. Average daily spending amounted to 137 euros, a 4.4% rise on 2016.

Among the main emitting markets between January and November, and according to the Tourist Movements at Borders Statistics (FRONTUR), particularly noteworthy was the strength of the United Kingdom, with almost 18 million tourists, a 7% increase on the first 11 months of 2016. This market was followed by Germany, with 11.4 million tourists and growth of 6.1%, and France, with 10.7 million tourists and growth of 0.4% on the same months of 2016.

By destination in Spain, Catalonia was the most popular autonomous region, with more than 18.2 million inbound tourists, a 6.1% increase on the first 11 months of 2016. This region was followed by the Balearic Islands, with 13.7 million tourists and growth of 6.2%, and the Canary Islands, with almost 13 million and growth of 7.9%.

Total spending by inbound tourists to November 2017 amounted to 82.29 billion euros, according to figures from the INE. The main destination autonomous regions with the highest accumulated spending were Catalonia (with a 22.2% share of the total), the Canary Islands (18.5%) and the Balearic Islands (17.6%).

In terms of emitting markets and during the same period, the United Kingdom posted the highest accumulated spending, with 16.6 billion euros and 20.2% market share, followed by Germany, with 11.69 billion and 14.2% share and France, with 6.69 billion and 8.1% share.