SPAIN welcomed 7.2 million international tourists in April- a record for that month in figures published on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics(INE).
Tourism Minister, Hector Gomez, described the figures as ‘extraordinary’ and predicted that summer numbers would surpass those of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
April’s totals were 18.5% more than in the same month of 2022 and 1.2% more than in April 2019.
In the first four months of the year, Spain has received almost 21 million international tourists, representing a growth of 32.4% over last year, reaching a total expenditure of €25.6 billion- 36.6% more than in the same period last year and 14.5% above 2019.
The United Kingdom continues to dominate the visitor list with 1.4 million arrivals in April, 8.7% more than in April 2022.
France and Germany are next, contributing more than one million visitors each while arrivals from the United States were over 60% up on the same month last year.
Catalunya was the busiest region for foreign tourists in April, with 21.3% of the total, followed by the Balearic Islands (16.3%) and the Canary Islands (16%).
With the first four months of the year up on 2019 visitor numbers, Hector Gomez has predicted that Spain will receive between 52.3 million and 54.8 million foreign tourists between May and October, slightly up on the same period in 2019, which was a record year for tourist arrivals.
The minister said Spain’s priority was to attract travellers from distant markets such as the United States, China, South Korea and Japan.
The government has recently held several meetings with Asian airlines to increase connectivity, with some routes set to return this month, he said.