• In March 2014, Spain welcomed in excess of 3.9 million international visitors, up 0.7% year on year.
  • Cumulatively since January 2014, Spain has welcomed in excess of 10 million international visitors, up 7.2% year on year.
  • The UK continues to be Spain’s strongest inbound tourism market accounting for 19.1% of all international visits to Spain in March 2014.

Source Markets

During March 2014, Spain welcomed more than 745,000 UK visitors, making it the largest international tourism market to the country and representing 19.1% of all international tourists. The monthly figure represented a year on year decrease of 3.3%, however the cumulative UK visitor numbers since the start of the year are up by 4.7%.

In March 2014, Germany was the second strongest market, capturing 17.7% of all international visitors to Spain (+0.3%), followed by France which represented 17% of all international visitors (+5.9%).

Cumulatively since January 2014, Spain has welcomed over 10 million international tourists, a rise of 7.2% year on year according to the FRONTUR survey of Tourism Movements Across Borders, released by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

Key destinations

During March 2014, the Canary Islands welcomed in excess of 1.1 million tourists (+7.7%) representing 28.7% of the total international tourism market to Spain and making it the most popular visitor destination for that month. The 7.7% year on year increase was generated across all core markets which all saw yearly increases of more than 5%. Since January 2014 the Canary Islands has welcomed a total of 3.1 million international tourists (+10.6%).

In March 2014, Catalonia was the second most visited region welcoming over 1 million international tourists (+4.9%) and representing 25.8% of the total international tourism market. These increases were fuelled particularly by Germany and the Asian markets. Cumulatively from January until the end of March 2014 Catalonia has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors (+9.8%).

A region heavily influenced by the Easter celebrations, Andalucía, welcomed just over 464,000 international visitors in March 2014, representing a year on year decrease of 10.5% when compared to March 2013, which coincided with the Easter holidays. Since January, Andalucía has received more than 1.1 million international visitors (+3.9%) making it Spain’s third most popular region.

For March 2014, the region of Valencia saw the biggest year on year increase (+9.2%) in terms of international arrivals with more than 370,000 international visitors. The UK was the main contributor for this growth with Germany, the Netherlands and Italy also contributing positively towards the increase. Cumulatively, the region of Valencia has welcomed over 909,000 international visitors (+12.2%).

Madrid and the surroundings saw positive results for the fourth consecutive month welcoming more than 360,000 international visitors in March 2014 (+3.2%). This was thanks in particular to increases from the United Kingdom and France.  Cumulatively from January 2014 Madrid has seen in excess of 991,000 international visitors (+6.8%).

In contrast, during March 2014, the Balearic Islands saw a 31.6% decrease in visitor numbers, with just under 226,000 visitors. Since the start of the year, the Balearic Islands have received more than 416.000 visitors (- 24.4%). This decline is partly due to decreases in visitors from Germany and the United Kingdom.  

Other key statistics

During March 2014, over 80% of all international visitors to Spain arrived by plane (+0.8%) whilst road access accounted for 17.7% of all arrivals (+0.3%).  Access via Spain’s ports dropped 13.1% year on year, representing just 1.3% of all international arrivals.

Whilst most visitors opted for hotel accommodation (67.8%) in March 2014, other types of accommodation such as staying with friends or family or rental accommodation were chosen by almost a third (32.2%) of the market. Cumulatively since January 2014, hotels were the accommodation of choice for 65.5% of visitors with non-hotel accommodation accounting for 33.7%.

In terms of types of travel, during March 2014 almost a third (32.8%) of international visitors opted to visit Spain as part of a package holiday (+9.7%). The majority (67.2%) opted to travel without a package.

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