The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has advanced on Tuesday Spain will close 2018 with a total of 81.2 million international tourists, which represents a slight decrease of 0.8% with respect to the record of 2017 that was "exceptional" from the point of view of the flows, with an estimated associated expenditure of about 89,440 million euros for this year, which means an increase of 2.8% over the previous year, according to the quarterly report of Coyuntur.
The report provides for thearrival of 15.3 million foreign visitors to Spain for the fourth quarter of the year, which represents a decrease of 2.25% with respect to the same period of 2017, in which 15.6 million visitors registered. As for tourism spending, it is estimated to increase by 3.4% to a volume of 17,539 million compared to 16,962 in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The minister of Tourism has indicated that these figures confirm "a normalization and stabilization trend of the tourist flows »in our country, where the most outstanding decreases in the number of tourists have been registered in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, but the generalized increase in the expenditure made has been highlighted.
«These are some positive data that keep Spain in a country that receives international tourists. Are good levels considering that last year was an exceptional year because we came from a year 2016 of around 75.3 million, "he assured.
Despite the normalization of tourist flows in recent months, Maroto has highlighted the increase in the quality of tourism that reaches Spain: "The most important thing to highlight is the increase in the quality of tourism taking into account the increase in spending of tourists visiting our country, "he said.
In the absence of knowing the final data of the third quarter that he will be published at the beginning of next monthMaroto has ensured that these figures keep Spain as a big recipient of international tourists.
Catalonia and tourism
Maroto explained that "tourism in Catalonia is a strong sector but we have to recover institutional normality. We are reinforcing marketing campaigns abroad with a total of 196 promotional activities underway ». In this line, he explained that the community welcomesl 23.4% of the country's international tourism.
Between January and August a decrease of 5% in the number of foreign tourists to Catalonia has been detected, although the expense has increased by 6.8%. According to Reyes Maroto, in Catalonia «political instability is a fact and a reason for less international tourists to come».
In the case of the Balearic Islands, the situation is different and it is also a destination «With limited space». According to Maroto, the slowdown in visitors is due to the fact that there are certain destinations that are saturated, which is why measures are being taken to avoid excessive congestion of destinations with the possible rejection by residents.
Maroto does not believe that the recent torrential rains in some areas of the island they may affect the final flow of tourists to the Balearic Islands at the end of the year.
Affiliated with Social Security
Regarding employment, it has advanced the data of the increase in the number of affiliates in the tourism sector to the Social Security in September, which stood at 2.5 million, 3.7% more than the previous year.
Maroto has pointed out that these figures highlight that tourism activities continue to be «Engine of job creation and contribute to the strengthening of the Spanish economy », with 13.2% of affiliates.
The owner of Tourism has taken the opportunity to make balance of the measures promoted by the Executive as the table for the quality of employment in the hospitality sector, the second phase of the Master Plan for decent work, the first meetings of the working group on housing for tourist use (VUT), the promotion of the Paradores network , and the launch of the Smart Tourist Destinations Network.
Regarding the Director's Plan for Decent Work, Maroro has announced that until September 30 More than 11,000 workers in the hospitality sector They have seen their rights recognized and the quality of their employment improved. Thus, 7,265 temporary contracts have been transformed into permanent contracts (55% of the total number of affected workers) and have increased by 3,800 part-time contracts (15% of affected workers).
As next lines of action, Maroro has referred to the call for new working groups of Turespaña (statistics, marketing), the convocation of the Interministerial Tourism Commission, the convocation of the Spanish Council of Tourism (Conestur) and the design of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2025.