Tourists at the airport.


The national minister of industry, trade and tourism, Reyes Maroto, has given an estimate of 81.2 million foreign tourists for 2018, which would be a fall of 0.8%. In the final quarter of the year, the expectation is that Spain will receive 15.3 million visitors, a drop of 2.2%.

The figures are, nevertheless, "very positive", while foreign tourist spending is calculated to show a 2.8% increase for the whole year. Between October and December, the rise will be 3.4%, forecasts suggest. For Maroto, there is now a "normalisation" of tourism flows and "an increase in the quality of tourists".

Definitive figures have yet to be made available to include September, but up to August there was a 2.8% increase in foreign tourist numbers (57.3 million) and the same percentage rise for spending.

The Balearics and Catalonia have both experienced slight falls in tourist numbers. In Catalonia, Maroto attributes this to the political instability. The Balearics are a different case, and she notes that her ministry is working with the Balearic government on a tourism model of quality over more quantity. The Balearics, she adds, have "limited space".

Commenting on the floods in Majorca, Maroto said yesterday that they will not affect the final number of tourists this year.