SPAIN’S Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, described the growth in visitors to the country in September as a confirmation that “a reactivation of international tourism is underway”.
The Spanish Government announced more than five million international passengers travelled to the country during August 2021 – an increase of 172% compared to the same month in 2020. Three times as many British tourists travelled to Spain than in the same period last year. After an increase in the number of international arrivals registered in September, Spain’s government now firmly believes that tourism may return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
According to data provided by the National Statistics Office, the number of international tourists in Spain marked a four-fold increase in September 2021 compared to a year ago to about 4,7 million. Germans accounted for the largest group of international travellers, followed by the UK and French citizens.
Travel writer and host of The Big Travel Podcast Lisa Francesca Nand, said the numbers are no surprise, saying: “Spain has always been our most popular holiday destination, ever since the 1970s when commercial travel really opened up.” Regions such as the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca are highly reliant on tourism and during the height of the pandemic, businesses suffered badly when footfall came to a virtual halt.
Many British expats were forced to sell up and return to the UK in financial ruins, with some even trying their luck in neighbouring Portugal. However, with foreign visitors now flocking back to their favourite Mediterranean destination, the prospect for the travel industry is one of recovery.