ANDALUCIA’S tourism bosses have toasted to their best and most essential customers – the Brits.
As the region’s tourism industry bounces back in style from the Covid pandemic, it’s the rainy islands in the north west of the continent that have been leading the charge – and filling the coffers.
In the first nine months of the year, over 13 million British tourists visited Spain.
They account for 23% of the total number of tourists coming to Spain’s southern region – an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2022.
Brits are also the biggest spenders in Spain among all tourist groups, underlining their importance to the market.
Juanma Moreno, the President of the Regional Government, added that Andalucía is on track to achieve a record-breaking 33 million tourists by the end of the year.
“We’re moving in the right direction. We still have the final months of the year to go, but we are very optimistic,” Moreno declared.
He was speaking at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, which is the world’s largest tourism fair.
The latest data shows that Andalucian destinations received 27.2 million travellers until September, exceeding the record set in 2019 by a million.
The region has set a target of 33.3 million tourists for 2023 in total, and €22.5 billion in revenue.
It should be achievable, as a new record was set for Andalucia’s high season of July to September, as over twelve million visitors descended upon the region.
Moreno emphasised that this is the first time such numbers have been achieved, with 850,000 more visitors than the previous year and 600,000 more than the pre-pandemic period.
Another statistic that has the tourism bosses smiling is that these travellers spent more than ever.
The daily expenditure per tourist averaged at €78.7 – four euros higher than before.
And the cherry on the cake has been the tourists’ stellar feedback, with an impressive rating of 8.8 out of 10.
“We are the Spanish destination that is growing the most on the international stage, above the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia,” added the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Arturo Bernal.
“It is a year to congratulate the tourism industry and all its components,” he added.
Looking forward, the strongest sign of the UK’s loyalty to Andalucia has been the significant growth in flights to Andalucia compared to Italy and France.
In November, 2,301 planes will depart from the United Kingdom to destinations in the Andalucian Community.