Spain is currently ranked second in the world both in tourist revenues (behind the States) and visitor numbers (behind France). In 2006, overseas visitors spent 48,227 million euros in the country, which represents an increase of 4.8% on tourist spending in 2005. With regard to visitor numbers, 58.5 million overseas tourists came to Spain last year, up 4.5% on figures for 2005.
More tourists than ever In 2006, 58.5 million tourists visited Spain, up 4.5% on figures for the previous year. However, growth is lower than in 2005, when visitor numbers were up 6.6% on figures for 2004. This means that Spain is second only to France in overseas tourists.
In order of importance, the six main destinations in Spain, which received 90.1% of overseas tourists visiting the country, are as follows: Catalonia, Baleares, Canaries, Andalusia, Valencia and Madrid.
Practically all the tourists visiting Spain in 2006 were from Europe (86.7%). With regard to the main feeder markets, the United Kingdom consolidated its position at the top of the ranking. With a total of 16.2 million tourists, representing 27.7% of all overseas tourism, the number of English visitors increased slightly by 0.6%. Other main European markets in order of importance were Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland. In the case of Switzerland, Italy, Ireland and Portugal, the number of visitors from these countries increased by 20.3, 13.6, 10.6 and 10.4%, respectively. On the other hand, the number of American tourists increased by 5.2%.
Higher average spending The 2.4% fall in the average length of stay has been compensated to a certain extent by a 2.7% increase in average daily spending, this being 91 euros. Average spending according to nationality was 1,695 euros in the case of the Americans, who were the biggest spenders, followed by tourists from Scandinavia (1,109 euros), the Germans (911 euros), the Swiss (902 euros), the Irish (865 euros), the Italians (843 euros), the English (830 euros), the Dutch (821 euros), the Belgians (785 euros) and the French (525 euros), with the Portuguese bringing up the rear with an average spending of 428 euros. Average spending in 2006 was 857 euros, three euros more than in 2005.
In terms of spending, the summer months have been very positive. The period June-September concentrated 46% of overall tourist spending. Likewise, growth registered during the summer months (6%) was higher than during the rest of the year (3.9%).
With regard to overall spending, the English (27.6%), Germans (19%) and French (8.1%) generated more than half the Spanish tourist industry’s revenues.
Record growth in Andalusia Andalusia received 14.6% of all overseas tourists travelling to Spain (8.5 million tourists), up 2.3% on figures for the previous year. The number of English tourists, the region’s main market, fell by 1.2%, while the number of French tourists visiting Andalusia (the region’s second most important market) increased by 1.3%. The Belgian and Portuguese markets have proved to be especially dynamic in 2006. The increase in the number of tourists and average spending led to an increase of 4.4% in overall tourist revenues.
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