Foreign tourist numbers in Spain recover by 70% before arrival of Omicron COVID variant

FOREIGN tourist levels in Spain last November recovered to 70% of what they were in the same month 2019 ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures published on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics showed 3.3 million people visited Spain in November 2021- 633% more than the same month a year earlier.

The encouraging recovery will have been severely tempered by last month’s identification of the Omicron variant and new restrictions imposed by countries like the UK.

For the second month in a row, British travellers accounted for nearly 20% of foreign visitors at 600,000.

They were followed by French tourists at 496,579 and German arrivals at 479,403.

In the first 10 months of 2021, foreign arrivals to Spain reached 28.2 million- 64% less than over the same pre-pandemic period of 2019.

The fall in spending is in the same proportion, namely €31.2 billion compared to €86.9 billion in 2019.

Despite big rises in COVID infections, the Spanish government is optimistic over foreign tourist trends.

Tourism Minister, Reyes Maroto, said: “Month after month we see how Spain is getting closer to the tourism volume and spending of 2019, although the uncertainty associated with the new infection wave could delay the recovery of the pre-pandemic levels in international tourism. Depending on the duration of the new infection wave.”

Regional breakdowns for November were led by the Canary Islands, as it accounted for nearly a third of total foreign arrivals at one million.

It was followed by Catalunya with 604,925 foreign visitors and Andalucia with 485,504.

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