This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website   More info

Spain Beats USA As Second Most Popular Destination

Spain Beats USA As Second Most Popular Destination

Spain have been in strong competition to replace the United States as top contender for international travel destination 2018 and in 2017, they did just that, will they do it again?

With visitor numbers, and total earnings from tourism soaring throughout 2017, Spain was beaten only by France, which clinched the top spot in a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
 
According to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, total earnings in Spain’s tourism sector rose by an impressive 12% to €87 billion last year. Around 14.9% of the country’s GDP can be attributed to tourism, according to the WTTC, and with the value of international tourism expected to grow by 3.1% in 2018, Spain is likely to see this figure rise further over the course of the year. 
 
With forecasts predicting that tourism is expected to account for 16.4% of Spain’s GDP and 1.15 million jobs by 2028, the country looks set to continue reaping the rewards of its global appeal. Catalonia was the country’s most popular tourist destination, welcoming 19 million international visitors last year. The Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Andalusia and Valencia made up the rest of the top five, while Madrid slipped into sixth place.
 
Meanwhile, visitors to the US dropped by 5% in the first quarter and 3% in the second quarter of 2017, following Donald Trump’s inauguration as President. Mediterranean ever popular with tourists. While the US experiences the ‘Trump Slump’, Spain and Europe are enjoying increased visitor numbers, with figures up 13% in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe last year compared to 2016.
 
John Kester, Head of Tourism Trends at UNWTO, said: “We see that demand for European destinations has been very strong. We also see important recovery in France.” 
 
But is Spain a holiday hot spot or is it relocation material? With its warm weather, tapas culture and laid back lifestyle, Spain is a perennially popular holiday destination, appealing to visitors from around the world. Its attractions are also a big draw for families and retirees from northern European countries seeking a new life in the sun. Packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, natural parks and beautiful beaches, it’s no wonder so many people choose to move to Spain.
 

Gallery