Madrid: Spain’s tourism sector continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Statistical Office (INE) confirming that the country welcomed 39.3 million foreign travellers in the first seven months of this year.
Although this is still below the 48 million visitors registered in the same period of 2019, it is three times more than the 9.8 million tourists who visited Spain in January-July 2021, reports Xinhua news agency citing the INE as saying.
This year so far, foreign visitors to the country spent 47.6 billion euros, over four times more than in 2021 but still less than in the same period of 2019 (52.2 billion euros).
Juan Carlos Higueras, professor at the EAE Business School, explained to Xinhua that the increase in tourist numbers is a direct response to the elimination of restrictions introduced during the pandemic and commented that “the comparison and growth should be looked at in relation to the years prior to Covid”.
The expert also highlighted that, although everything points to the tourist market remaining buoyant over the autumn, macroeconomic factors, such as rising inflation and fuel bills, could play a role.
“Everything will depend on how the market evolves and the inflation that is already causing problems for families.
“We have to take into account that rising costs have had an impact on the profit margin of the tourism sector, although it has tried to alleviate the situation by increasing prices,” he said.
The main source markets for Spain in the first seven months of 2022 were the UK (with about 8.4 million tourists and an annual increase of 908.5 per cent), followed by Germany (5.5 million arrivals) and France (5.3 million).