Average spending by foreign tourists is already above pre-pandemic levels

Foreign tourists arriving for Easter talk to their holiday representative at Malaga airport last month. / ON

Visitors returned 1,257 euros to Spain while on vacation, almost 200 more per person than in 2019, although total spending was 15% lower than in 2019

In March alone, four million foreign tourists arrived in Spain; 71% of the number that arrived in the same month of 2019, just before the start of the pandemic.

However, tourists are spending more money this time around: 1,257 euros each on average, almost 200 euros more than the 1,068 euros spent in March 2019.

Average daily spending has increased by 20% to 157 euros, even though the duration of trips by international tourists is eight days this year, 0.5 less than in March 2021, according to data published Thursday by the Spanish Institute of National Statistics (INE).

Despite the numbers, total spending remains 15% below 2019 levels, but is already over five billion. The total income of international tourists reached 5,069 million euros, an increase of 830% compared to the same month in 2021.

Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto explained in a statement that this trend will “intensify” in the summer period, with results that “make us optimistic”, including more scheduled international flights offering more than 29 million seats. .

Year-to-date, total visitor spending increased by almost 800% compared to last year, reaching 11,853 million euros, 3,500 million less than in the first quarter of 2019.

The British lead the way

Of the four million foreign tourists who arrived in Spain in March, the largest group came from the United Kingdom.

During this month, 826,400 British tourists arrived; 18% of the total. They spent 1,013 million euros in Spain, or 20% of the total.

In the first three months of the year, the number of tourists increased by almost 700% compared to the first quarter of 2021, reaching almost 9.7 million visitors, compared to only 1.2 million last year .

After the United Kingdom, German and French tourists are in second and third place, with 608,800 and 457,000 arrivals respectively.

Among the other countries, growth compared to last year was notable in Ireland (+2.5%), the United States (1.9%) and the Nordic countries (1.3%).

The main destination for these tourists was the Canary Islands, which recorded 33% of total spending in March and 1.1 million visitors.

Catalonia was the second most popular destination with 14.5% of total spending and 703,000 tourists.

Andalusia recorded 15% of total expenditure and 610,000 people.