The Brits can't get enough of Spain or the Balearics. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Spain received more than 66.5 million tourists during the first nine months of the year, which is almost 19% more than in 2022, setting the country on course for a record year.

And it is not only the number that is growing, but also the amount they spend, which has risen to over 84,600 million, 24% more than in 2022.

After a record summer, the Spanish tourism sector is heading for a record-breaking end to the year.
In the first nine months of 2023 the number of tourists visiting Spain increased by 18.8% to over 66.5 million.
In the same period of 2022 a total of 56 million tourists arrived.

If the figure for 2023 is compared with the accumulated figure for the first nine months of 2019, before the pandemic, tourist arrivals are 0.6% lower, according to data released today by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

We welcome these figures in the context of the informal ministerial meeting that we as the EU Presidency has just held in Palma, where Spain has consolidated its leadership in making tourism a driving force for sustainable economic growth throughout the continent,” said the acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez.

The Minister of Tourism also pointed out that “Spain not only counts the number of tourists”, but also takes other indicators into account, such as overnight stays, average expenditure and environmental impact, in order to “launch balanced policies that are committed to the growth of the whole country, as well as to the sensitivities of each territory”.

The main countries of origin up to September were the United Kingdom (with almost 13.8 million tourists and an annual increase of 14.6%), France (almost 9.4 million and an increase of 18%) and Germany (with almost 8.5 million, an increase of 9.6%).

In these first nine months of the year, the communities that received the most tourists were Catalonia (with almost 14.2 million and an increase of 22.2% compared to the same period in 2022), the Balearics (with almost 12.6 million and an increase of 8.6%) and the Canary Islands (with almost 10 million, an increase of 14.1%).

In September, Spain was visited by 8.8 million international tourists, 13.6% more than in the same month of 2022.
This figure is still 0.2% below that of the same month in 2019, according to the statistics on tourist movements at borders (Frontur).

The United Kingdom led the number of visitors in September with almost 2 million tourists, 22.1% of the total and an increase of 8.7% compared to last year. Germany and France are the next countries sending the most tourists to Spain.

Germany brought 1.3 million (up 13.5% year-on-year) and France almost one million (up 5.9%).
The annual growth of tourists from the United States (27.4%), Switzerland (24.9%) and Ireland (14.7%) also stands out.

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According to the Ministry of Tourism, the 430,220 travellers from the United States “are a result of the efforts of the ministry’s policy to attract long-haul markets, whose stays tend to be longer and, therefore, also their spending”.

The Balearics was the main destination for tourists last September, with 23.4% of the total. It was followed by Catalonia (20.7%) and Andalusia (14.9%).
2.1 million tourists visited the Balearics, 8.7% more than in September 2022, mainly Germans (30.6% of the total) and British (28%).

The number of tourists who visited Catalonia increased by 11.1% and reached over 1.8 million. 16.1% came from France and 11.9% from the United Kingdom.
In the other regions, the number of tourists increased by 27% in the Madrid region, 11.9% in the Valencia region and 10.3% in the Canary Islands, according to INE data.

By type of accommodation, those staying in hotels grew by 10.8%, and in rented accommodation by 16.6%. Tourists staying with relatives or friends increased by 25.9% and those staying in rented accommodation by 14.9%.

Leisure, recreation and holidays continue to be the main reason for 7.9 million tourists travelling to Spain, with an annual increase of 14.6%, while business or professional reasons accounted for a further 493,311 tourists (up 0.4%).

The increase in tourists has led to a progressive increase in spending, which during the first nine months of the year grew by 24%, reaching 84,608 million euros.
The most positive aspect is that if this figure is compared with the figures for 2019, before the pandemic, tourist spending is 15.1% higher.

In the first nine months of 2023 the United Kingdom was the country with the highest cumulative spending (18.7% of the total), followed by Germany (11.9%) and France (9.3%), according to the Tourism Expenditure Survey (Egatur) which indicates that up to September the communities that accumulated the highest level of spending were Catalonia (with 19.5% of the total), the Balearics (18.3%) and the Canary Islands (17.2%).

In September, international tourists spent a total of 11,215 million euros in our country, which represents an increase of 22.6% compared to the same month in 2022 and 16.6% above that of the same month in 2019.

By regions, the Balearics (with 22.4% of the total), Catalonia (19%) and Andalusia (14.6%) were the autonomous communities that accounted for the highest level of expenditure in this month by international tourists.

As a result, the average expenditure per tourist was 1,271 euros, an annual increase of 7.9%. The average daily expenditure grew by 8.8% to 185 euros, according to data from the statistics institute, which puts the average length of stay of international tourists in Spain at almost 7 days.

The countries that spent the most in Spain in September were the United Kingdom (with 20.1% of the total), Germany (13.5%) and France (7.3%).
Spending by tourists from the United Kingdom increased by 16% in annual terms, that of those from Germany by 18.2% and that of those from France by 7.5%.

By region, the biggest increase in spending in September was recorded among tourists visiting Andalusia (35.4%) followed by the Balearics (19.4%) and Catalonia (14.9%), according to the INE.