According to the Frontier Tourist Movement Survey (Frontur) prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism’s Department of Tourism Information Studies, Spain was visited by a total of 8.3 million inbound tourists in August 2013. This figure is an increase of 7.1% over the same month in 2012 and sets a new all-time record for the Frontur survey.
The French market made the largest contribution to the net increase in tourists in August, while the United Kingdom, Germany and the Scandinavian countries also recorded noticeable growth.
Spain received a total of 42.3 million international tourists between January and August representing a year-on-year increase of 4.5%. The Scandinavian countries made the largest contribution to net growth in this period and Russia, in turn, posted the highest year-on-year variation with an increase of 30.7%.
The United Kingdom headed the list of emitting markets in August, accounting for 24.3% of the total and an increase of 6.8% over the same month of the previous year. This growth benefited all the main tourist regions, although the Balearic Islands and Catalonia recorded the best results in this regard. In the first eight months of the year, more than 10 million British tourists travelled to Spain, an increase of 4.8%.
France – the second emitting market in the month, and for the period from January to August – accounted for 21.7% of all tourists visiting Spain in August and recorded the highest monthly increase in absolute terms with almost 153,000 more tourists, the majority of which travelled to Catalonia, followed by, to a much lesser extent, Valencia and the Canary Islands. A total of 6.9 million French tourists visited Spain between January and August, representing an increase of 6.2%.
Germany also posted significant growth, of 13.5%, over the same month last year. The Balearic Islands benefited most with an increase of approximately 23%. Andalusia and Valencia also benefited from increases. A total of 6.6 million German tourists visited Spain between January and August, an increase of 4.2%.
The Scandinavian countries accounted for 4.3% of all inbound tourists to Spain, with an increase of 18.9%. The Balearic Islands and Valencia were the main regions to benefit from this increase. Growth from this market stands at 18.1% so far this year.
The pace of decline seen in recent months from the Italian market slowed to 7.1% in August. Since January, a total of 2.3 million Italian tourists have visited Spain, representing a decrease of 11.9%.
Among the remaining markets, the survey highlighted the continued growth in Russian tourists, with a total of 1.1 million tourists visiting Spain so far this year, a year-on-year increase of 30.7% in the first eight months of 2013.
Catalonia Remains Most Popular Region
Catalonia was the leading tourist destination once again in August with 2.2 million tourists visiting the region (up 12.3%). This region accounted for 27.1% of all tourists visiting Spain in August, with France and Russia being the most important markets for the growth in this month. Since January, more than 11 million international tourists have visited Catalonia, an increase of 6.5%.
The Balearic Islands posted growth in August, of 10.6%, mainly driven by the German market. The Swiss and U.S. markets also posted significant growth, while the Italian market continued to shrink, although at a slower pace than in the previous month. So far this year, the Balearic Islands have been visited by more than 8.3 million inbound tourists, an increase of 8.3% over the same period last year.
The greater influx of German and Scandinavian tourists accounted for much of the growth in Andalusia which, with a total of just over 1 million tourists, posted growth of 6.1%. To date this year, the region of Andalusia has been visited by more than 5.5 million tourists (up 4.1%).
The Canary Islands were fourth on the list in terms of overseas visitors in August. The islands posted a sharper increase than in previous months, mainly due to the British and French markets, with growth of 6.1%. Also notable was the significant increase from the Russian market while, on the other hand, the German market continued to shrink for the tenth consecutive month. Between January and August, the increase in international tourism to the Canary Islands stands at 1.5%, with a total of over 6.7 million tourists.
Valencia posted more growth in August than in the two preceding months, with an increase of 11.5%. The French market was mainly responsible for the net growth, although positive results were also noted from the Scandinavian, German, Belgian, Swiss and Russian markets. International tourism to Valencia since the start of the year stands at 4.2 million (an increase of 11.8%).
Madrid posted a steeper decline in international tourism in August, with a year-on-year decrease of 22.2%, mainly due to the downturn in the Italian and Latin American markets. On the other hand, an increased number of tourists from the United Kingdom and Portugal visited the region.