• For winter 2014/2015 (October – March), Spain will consolidate its position as tourism leader, predicting that one in every three British tourists will choose Spain as a tourism destination.
  • The United Kingdom continues to be Spain’s strongest inbound travel market, with more than 12.3 million UK tourists (+ 5.6% yoy) from January to September, representing a total tourism expenditure of 10.4 billion euros (+6.9% yoy). In 2013, Spain welcomed a total of 14.3 million British visitors.
  • Spain’s participation at WTM London, consists of 1.001 metres squared of stand space, hosting 30 companies and 14 tourism destinations within Spain.
  • Spain’s minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, speaks at WTM today and highlights the enormous loyalty of British visitors to Spain, with 85% visiting more than once, and 42% having visited 10 times.

The Spanish minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, participated today in the 35th edition of World Travel Market (WTM) which is celebrated in London this week welcoming 136 country exhibitors, more than 50.000 tourism professionals and 3.000 media from around the world.

During the fair, Soria underlined the strength of the UK tourism market to Spain. The UK maintains its position as the strongest inbound tourism market to Spain and for 2014, a total of 15 million UK visitors is expected, based on the current statistics.

In 2013, Spain welcomed 14.3 million UK tourism arrivals, representing 23% of all international arrivals to Spain and 12 billion euros in expenditure. 2014 has seen significant increases both in terms of UK tourism expenditure, (+ 7% yoy), and UK visitor numbers (+5.6% yoy).

The image of Spain as a secure tourism destination, its evolution as a destination ‘beach plus’ (with an offer of sun and beach, plus a range of complimentary activities), the revival of demand to pre-crisis levels, and the indisputable leadership of Spain as a tourism destination in summer, capturing 36.2% of the UK tourism market, and in winter, 33.4% respectively, reaffirms the loyalty of British visitors, with 85% visiting more than once, and 42% having visited 10 times.

For the winter months, the majority of package bookings to Spain, will include the Canary Islands ( forecasted at 25.3%), reflecting the additional airline capacity to the Spanish archipelago, which welcomed an additional 45.037 seats in 2014.

Soria highlighted that throughout his time in office, “the policy of tourism diversification, particularly in the UK market, is attracting visitors to experience the immense diversity of the country.”

The success of the Spanish tourism offering, is based on a successful mix of quality, and a varied tourism offering including culture, gastronomy, sports, leisure etc., offered throughout the year.

The promotion via Turespaña (the Spanish Tourist Office), follows a marketing strategy designed as a result of a public opinion survey, executed by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, which looks at Spain beyond a sun and beach destination, identifying new reasons to visit Spain, out of the high season.

The Spanish participation at World Travel Market consists of an exhibitor space hosted by the Institute of Tourism of Spain (Turespaña), featuring 1.001 metres squared of stand space, 30 companies and 14 tourism destinations within Spain, made up of Spain’s regions (or autonomous communities), local councils/ tourism bodies, official entities, hotel chains, travel agencies, airlines etc.

The UK chooses Spain once again as its most favourite destination

The UK continues to be Spain’s strongest tourism market and the main destination for British holidaymakers, as illustrated by the tourism statistics from the first nine months of the year.

Between January and September 2014, Spain welcomed 12.358.931 British tourists, representing a 5.6% yoy increase and a 23.6% share of all international visitors.

The tourism expenditure for this period, reached 10.4 billion euros, with UK visitors spending 6.9% more than the same period in 2013, representing 20.6% of the total tourism spend. These statistics mark record highs since the start of the statistical analysis of tourism movement across borders, created by Frontur for the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, which has been created since 2007.

Looking at the type of travel, between January and September 2014, 7.898.273 (63.9%) of British arrivals chose to travel to Spain without a package (+4.8%), whilst 4.460.658 tourists opted for a package holiday, (+6.9%).

For the first nine months of the year, UK visitors represented 109.350.583 room nights, up 6.6% with 16.3% of holidays lasting between 16 and 30 nights and 9.5% of stays, lasting between 2 and 3 days. Stays between 8 and 15 nights grew by 6.4% which underlined last year’s trend of longer duration stays.

123 new routes between Spain and the UK in 2014

In 2014, 123 new flight routes have been added to the flight network between Spain and the UK, operating from 29 British airports to 28 Spanish airports.

The first nine months of 2014, show record capacity rates for flights to Spain from the UK, based on the fact that the average capacity is 85%, and for this period, it was 87.7%.

UK tourism promotion of Spain

Throughout 2014 and as part of Turespaña’s 2012-2016 Strategic Marketing Plan, the Spanish Tourist Office in London has chosen 10 primary products in which it has focused its ‘sun and beach plus’ marketing efforts including urban, cultural, trails/routes, gastronomy, rural and nature, golf, MICE, learning holidays and special interest holidays.

In total, the Spanish Tourist Office in London has carried out 241 tourism promotional activities, including 81 press trips, 48 travel agent trips, 22 events, 30 broadcast projects, and 56 marketing and communication actions, targeted at the final consumer and the media. These activities have so far generated an equivalent advertising rate in excess of 9.3 million euros (7.4 million pounds). In addition, a Spain travel guide was created with UK publication Monocle, as well as a gastronomic guide with Food & Travel magazine.

For the last three years, the strategic focus of the Spanish Tourist Office in London is online marketing and content, which led to the development of an integrated social ecosystem, which encompasses the dedicated UK portal, a Social New Hub, targeted at media and bloggers and a growing diversification of social networks (with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), which have seen significant organic growth and a strong level of interaction.

In line with this, Spain also launched its own digital magazine, ‘SPN, inspired by Spain’, which is pioneering in the travel industry through its sections including travel, art, music, gastronomy, fashion and travel, showing a more modern and less conventional side of Spain. (

From November 2014, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, via Turespaña will carry out a promotional campaign via the UK’s main online channels, with visual imagery from the campaign ‘I Need Spain’, adapted especially for online media, with the objective of reinforcing and stabilising the Spain’s position as tourism leader.


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