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Spain now no2 tourist destination in the world

January 12, 2018 – 4:25 pm


The portada (gateway) of the Feria
Playa de Bajondillo, Torremolinos. Photo by Sophie Careful


Today it was announced that Spain has taken the number 2 spot in most-visited countries in the world.

Previously, the US was the second-most visited country, but as of 2017, Spain has knocked los Estados Unidos off the silver podium for international tourism.

France remains at number one in the top tourism countries chart. The rest of the top 10 for 2016 (the remaining entries in the list for 2017 are still to be confirmed) were: China (4),  Italy (5), UK (6), Germany (7), Mexico (8), Thailand (9) and Turkey (10).


The portada (gateway) of the Feria
Seville’s Alcazar is one of the most popular historic buildings in Spain. Photo © Michael Barbatulus


Last year, Spain had a record-breaking 82 million visitors. This is the fifth consecutive year when the number has reached a new high, increasing 8.9% on 2016, according to figures from the Ministry of Energy and Tourism.

Splashing the cash

Spending also rose, as would be expected, though more proportionately than the number of visitors. The total amount spent on visits to Spain was 87,000 million euros, up 12.4% on the previous year. Each tourist spends an average of 1,061 euros.

Brits on top

Figures by nationality of visitor are only available for January to November 2017 as of now, but these show that the British are still the largest sector of all visitors, with 18 million in total. This is 7% more than the same period in 2016.

Brits are not shy about enjoying their holidays, with 16,604 million euros going on Spanish hotels, food, drink, shopping and other expenditure during their visits – around 911 euros per person.

Germany is the second-biggest visitor nationality, with 11 million visitors, followed by France at 7 million. These figures are from the Egatur tourism spend survey, carried out by INE.

This exciting news for Spain comes hot on the heels on the announcement that Lonely Planet considered Seville the Best City to Visit in 2018.

See our post about top international tourism country destinations from 2016.



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