In the first nine months of the year, Spain received more than 66.2 million international tourists, a figure identical to that of the same period in 2017, according to the data from the Survey of Tourist Movements in Border (FRONTUR) prepared by the National Institute of Statistics and which has been made public this Friday. In September, 8.9 million visitors arrived, 0.5% more.
According to Tourist spending statistics (EGATUR), also published this Friday, international tourists spent 71,773 million euros in Spain between January and September, an increase of 2.5% over last year. "The stabilization of tourist flows continues accompanied by a significant growth in tourist spending and that is the way forward," says the Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Oliver, in a note released today, according to this data, the average daily expenditure of tourists in September also grew by 3%, standing at 147 euros.
The data improves the situation of last August, traditionally the strongest month of the summer. For the first time since 2011, this August Spain closed without record of visitors, with 1.9% fewer tourists than in the same month last year. Spending, however, as happened in September, grew by 1.8%. "These figures encourage us to continue working, more and better, to maintain the leadership of our country as a world tourism power," adds Isabel Oliver in the press release.
By countries, the United Kingdom continues to lead the ranking, with close to 15 million international tourists. It is followed by France, with almost 9.43 million, and Germany, which is close to 9.1 million. The FRONTUR data highlights the increases of visitors from the United States (with an increase of 8.7%), Portugal (8.6%) and Russia (5.3%). The United Kingdom is also the one with the highest cumulative expenditure so far this year with 14,619 million euros (2% increase). It is followed by Germany, with 9,544 million (and a reduction of 3%) and France, with 6,195 million (increase of 5,5%).
Catalonia returned to be the autonomous community that received the most international visitors with more than 15.4 million, followed by the Balearic Islands, which exceeded 15.4 million, and the Canary Islands, with almost 10.1 million. In the rest of the autonomous communities, the number of foreign tourists increased in the first nine months of the year, especially in the Madrid's community, which exceeded the figure of 5 million visitors, 4.4% more than in the same period of 2017.
With regard to spending, Catalonia is also at the top of the list, with the highest total expense until September (with 16,801 million euros, 1.2% more than in the same period of 2017). It is followed by Baleares with 13,111 million and an increase of 2.2%, and Canarias, with 12,474 million and an increase of 0.7%. Andalusia exceeded 10 billion and increased spending by 6.7%.
Most tourists who arrived in Spain in September did so by plane. They were close to 7.3 million, which means an annual decrease of 0.3%. By road, 6.2% more tourists arrived. On the other hand, by port they have 0.5% less access and 8% less by rail.