The tourist phenomenon still finds no roof in Spain. Although 2018 supposed a deceleration with respect to previous years, finally ended with a new record of tourist arrivals (82.7 million) and disbursed expenditure (89,856.4 million euros), thanks to the pull of the last tranche of the year. The beginning of 2019 follows the inertia of that pull and in the month of January the historical records of arrivals and tourist spending were broken for the first month of the year. In total, almost 4.2 million tourists visited Spain, 2.2% more than in the same month of 2018, and spent a total of 4,689.3 million euros, 3.6% more.
According to the data published this Friday by the INE, 4,196,939 foreign tourists visited Spain, 86,802 more than in January 2018, previous historical record. In fact, this year's is the sixth consecutive year in which the maximum of the historical series is exceeded. The United Kingdom has been the country that has sent the most visitors, 807,347, just 1% more than last year. The number of Germans has also grown slightly, the next largest Spanish market, with more than half a million, while the number of French people has fallen sharply, the third market, by 8.7%, to 446,307. But the biggest boost is that of American tourists, a market in strong rise for Spanish destinations. In January, 149,000 arrived, 25.5% more than a year earlier. The Portuguese market also grew a lot, by 21%, to 141,000.
As it is usually in this winter season, the favorite destination of tourists has been the Canary Islands, which received 1.16 million foreigners, 27.6% of the total. However, they were 2.1% less than those arrived in January 2018. Catalonia was the next preferred destination, with 910,000 visitors, 5% more. Madrid and Andalusia exceeded half a million visitors, with robust growth of 9 and 6.6%, respectively.