International tourists spent a total of 55.59 billion euros in 2012, which is a year-on-year increase of 5.7%. According to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (EGATUR) drafted by the Institute for Tourism Studies of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, increases were recorded in both the average expenditure per person and the average daily expenditure.
The United Kingdom (11.14 billion euros), Germany (9.08 billion euros), France (5.19 billion euros), the Nordic Countries (5.05 billion euros) and Italy (2.73 billion euros) were the leading markets in terms of tourist expenditure in 2012.
With twelve consecutive months of growth, Catalonia recorded total expenditure from international tourism of 12.61 billion euros (an increase of 13.8% compared with 2011). Catalonia was therefore the leading autonomous region in terms of tourist expenditure, accounting for 22.7% of the total.
Catalonia was followed by the Canary Islands (10.62 billion euros), with an increase of 4.4% which accounted for 19.1% of the total, and then the Balearic Islands (10.09 billion euros), with a year-on-year increase of 5.9% and accounting for 18.2% of the total.
Spanish Government website, La Moncloa, reported that the total expenditure in December 2012 was similar to the figure recorded in the same month of 2011 (approximately 2.76 billion euros), despite the falling number of arrivals (down 1.3%). The average expenditure per person rose in December by 1.3%, and the average trip length increased by 5.8%, while the average daily expenditure fell by 4.3%.
Germany was the top source market in terms of tourist expenditure in December 2012, with a significant increase of 19%. This was accompanied by increases in both the average daily expenditure and the average expenditure per person. Andalusia was the autonomous region that reaped the most benefits from this positive result.
Expenditure from the United Kingdom fell by 10.5%. This was caused by a drop in the number of arrivals, which ends a series of consecutive increases in recent months. Andalusia was the worst hit by this decline.
The Nordic Countries spent 402 million euros, which is 21.6% more than in the same month of 2011. This increased spending was mostly felt in the Canary Islands.
In turn, France posted a significant increase of 39.7%. This was the highest increase in the month and was accompanied by the arrival of the largest number of international tourists. This increase was especially felt in Catalonia, their main preferred destination. The figures on average spending also posted significant growth.
Total spending by Italian tourists fell by 23.7%, due to a falling number of arrivals. Catalonia, one of their main destinations, was impacted most by this decline.
In December, the Canary Islands was the autonomous region which recorded the largest volume of expenditure by international tourists (up 3.6%), thus maintaining the upward trend noted throughout the year. This result was mostly due to the increased spending by tourists from the Nordic Countries.
In Catalonia, the French market made the largest contribution to this region’s noticeable growth of 29%. Andalusia closed December with a decline of 8.5% (the first drop in the second half of the year), which was influenced by the falling number of arrivals. Lower expenditure by the British market had a negative effect on the figures in this region.
The region of Madrid posted a drop in spending by international tourists of 33.1% (the fifth consecutive decline), which was accompanied by a drop in the number of arrivals. Both the average expenditure per person and the average daily expenditure recorded lower results. Distant markets are mostly responsible for this decline.
Total expenditure in the region of Valencia rose by 10.8%, accompanied by growth in both the average expenditure per person and the average daily expenditure. The upward trend in the figures posted by the French market was largely responsible for this growth.
In December 2012, expenditure by tourists who opted for hotel accommodation fell by 6.1% while expenditure by tourists who opted for non-hotel accommodation rose by 9.5%. The overall trend for the year was positive in both cases.
Spending by tourists who travelled on a package holiday fell by 4.2%, thus ending the positive trend recorded throughout the rest of the year. Tourists who opted for other types of holiday spent 2% more. Expenditure by tourists who travelled for leisure increased in December 2012, while those who travelled for work spent less.