Spain Received Record 5.8 Million International Tourists in May

According to Frontur’s tourist border movement survey prepared by the Institute of Tourism Studies of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Spain received a total of 5.8 million foreign tourists during the month of May, which is an increase of 7.4% over the same month in 2012, and a new record in the series compiled by Frontur, compared to previous months of May.

British and German tourists accounted for most of the increase, and the Russian market again experienced a strong growth rate.

A total of 19.8 million international tourists have arrived in Spain so far this year, representing an increase of 3.9% over the same period last year. The countries most contributing to this growth were France and the United Kingdom, and the tourist destinations which benefited most were the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia. The cumulative number of international tourists from January to May is the highest since 2008, when the previous maximum was registered for this period.

According to the Spanish Government website, La Moncloa, the United Kingdom was the largest contributor to the increase in tourist arrivals in Spain in May, with 1,565,759 visiting the Balearic Islands, their number one destination, which is up 9.3% over the same month of 2012. Since January, the increase over the last year stands at 4.4%, with 4.48 million tourists.

The second market, Germany, rose 13.2% in May, with 999,711 tourists arriving in Spain. The Balearic Islands was the destination which attracted most German tourists during this month, but the largest increase was registered in Catalonia. To May, Spain received 3.2 million tourists from Germany, 4.3% more than the same period last year.

French tourist arrivals increased in May by 5.9%, to 809,838 tourists, and accumulated seven consecutive months of increases. Their main destination was Catalonia, but their visits to Valencia and Madrid also increased. Between January and May, Spain received three million French tourists, recording an annual increase of 7.5%.

Scandinavian tourists again recorded strong growth (+20.2%), with 13 consecutive months of increases. In May, nearly 400,000 Scandinavian tourists arrived in Spain, mainly to the Balearic Islands. This market has accumulated an increase of 13.8% since January and more than 1.8 million tourists.

Tourists from the Netherlands increased by 6.8%, while so far this year this market remained stable over last year (+0.3%).

Italian tourist arrivals, however, fell by 16.4% to 249,279 tourists, maintaining the downward trend from earlier this year and accumulated a decrease of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2012.

Catalonia was the top tourist destination in May, receiving 1.5 million tourists, up 6.3%, and accounted for 26% of all tourists arriving in Spain, with France the main market. Since January, Catalonia has received 5 million international tourists, up 5.4%.

The second Spanish destination in May was the Balearic Islands, with 23.6% of total tourist arrivals (1,364,626), up 13.2%. 70% of the tourists came from Germany and the United Kingdom, with growth in both markets at around 11%. So far in 2013, the Balearic Islands has received more than 2.5 million tourists, increasing by 11.5% over 2012.

Andalusia recorded 780,668 tourist arrivals in May (+5.7%), mainly from Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom, and has accumulated 2.6 million tourists and an increase of 2.2% since January.

The Canary Islands recorded an increase of 8.5% in tourist arrivals in the month, to 690,500, which mainly came from the British market. They have received 4.2 million tourists so far in 2013, virtually the same as in the same period last year (+0.2%).

Tourist arrivals to Valencia rose by 17.4% in May to 588,992, 10.2% of total arrivals, and its seventh consecutive month of increases. Since the beginning of this year, the region has recorded 1.9 million international tourists, up 15.6%.

Madrid registered a decline in arrivals of 8.6%, partly due to the decrease in Italian tourists. 436,000 tourist arrivals were registered in May, accumulating 1.7 million tourists since January, and a decrease of 3.2%.