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Happy reading: Seville’s tourism figures

November 7, 2011 – 1:04 pm

View from Triana bridge to riverside walkway, Giralda and Plaza de Toros.

Things are looking up for tourism in Seville. The latest visitor figures are very positive, possibly due to the unrest in North Africa causing would-be travellers to countries like Morocco to divert to southern Spain, the closest climate and architecture-wise. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, low-cost airlines also contribute to this, bringing planeload after planeload of people from all over Europe. They seem to add a new destination from/to Seville every month, although the schedules are chopped mercilessly in the winter, with flight frequency being halved and shoved to inconvenient late-night slots. In total, 52% of visitors arrive by plane.

Cathedral as seen from Metropol Parasol's walkway.

Seville airport has broken its record for every year except 1992, when the Expo was held. Hotel occupation was up too, unsurprisingly. In September, there were the same amount of visitors to the city as in April and May this year, in other words during Semana Santa and Feria. Hotel occupation for the year to date was up 10% on last year, although prices are down, so financially hoteliers come out even. The majority of people stayed in hotels, with the second largest group being hostels or pensiones; and the third group apartments, campsites and private houses.

Sevilla Feria, one of the city's busiest times.

Visitors arriving my boat were also up, thanks to the new river port, double last year’s numbers – over 12,000 people in total.

Seville's new architectural wonder, the Setas (official name: Metropol Parasol).

The typical visitor to Seville, apparently, is aged between 18 and 35, with more than half of them being on their second visit to the city. They stay between three and four nights, and they choose this destination for its cultural richness, to relax and rest, and/or to enjoy the local gastronomy.

This is all good news – people are taking more short breaks, apparently. And with its reliable sunshine, fabulous tapas and amazing architecture, from Mudejar to modern, Seville is the ideal destination.

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