Intermoney| The INE published the data on tourist arrivals in Spain during the month of May yesterday, with more than 8.2 million international tourists, 17% more than the same month of 2022 and 4% more than the same month of 2019. The United Kingdom is positioned as the main country of origin of tourists, representing 22% of the total and an increase of 10% over May ́’22. France and Germany are the next countries with more tourists with a year-on-year evolution of +24% and +9%, respectively.
Although the data are still very positive, in the case of the British and Germans (nationalities with the highest number of tourists in our country, 35% of the total in 2019), we see an unfavourable evolution so far this year, compared to other nationalities, which could be a symptom of the effects that inflation and the deterioration of purchasing power are beginning to have in their countries. Of the eight European countries that send the most tourists to our country, only the United Kingdom and Germany are still below 2019 levels. This could be detrimental to sun and beach destinations such as the Balearic and Canary Islands, the main destination for British and German tourists.
Tourist arrivals in Spain compared with 2019 figures
Percentage of tourists by nationalities (Jan-May 2019 compared with Jan-May 2023)
We also highlight:
- By receiving communities, the Balearic Islands leads with 22% of the total, followed by Catalonia (21.8%) and Andalusia (14.7%). In the first five months of 2023, Catalonia (6.1mn), the Canary Islands (5.9mn) and Andalusia (4.4mn) received the most tourists.
- In terms of type of accommodation, the hotel continues to be the preferred choice of tourists in April, with 83% of the total accommodation market preferring hotels, while rented accommodation accounts for 13%.
- Average spend per tourist stands at €1,183, up +3% year-on-year and +2% vs. May 2019, starting to see a normalisation of prices after peaking in August 2022, standing +24% above 2019 levels. In March it was +15% above 2019 and in April it was +8% above 2019 levels.
Assessment: Positive data for the sector, with levels once again above those of 2019, both in terms of tourist numbers and average spend, and which continue to demonstrate the sector’s resilience in the face of the difficult macro environment. Although the sector remains strong, we believe that, if they are to maintain demand, they will need to normalise prices as factors such as pent-up demand and the large savings accumulated during the pandemic lose steam and as the sector’s resilience continues to improve, and as the effects of the rate hikes hit households (on average nine months after the start of the hikes).
These effects could already be reflected in an unfavourable evolution so far this year in the arrival of German and British tourists (nationalities with the highest number of tourists in our country, 35% of the total in 2019), compared with other nationalities, which could be a symptom of the effects that inflation and the deterioration of purchasing power are beginning to have in their countries. This would be particularly detrimental to sun and beach destinations such as the Balearic and Canary Islands, the main destination for Britons and Germans, and may favour destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey or Egypt) due to their lower price levels. This month has also seen a fall in average spending per tourist, which could be a reflection of the deterioration in the purchasing power of European families.