Spain is about to close a foreign tourist record year thanks to the increase of sun and beach traditional offer. The number of visitors coming from other countries reached 57.6 million in November, which means 5% over the same period of 2012, according to Ministry of Industry’s official figures. They are good but cannot conceal this strong demand’s origin: the diversion of tourist flows that stopped travelling to other Mediterranean destinations, particularly Egypt, because of their political instability.
Indeed, many usual visitors in Egypt have changed this country for Canary Islands. The Spanish archipelago was foreign tourist main destination in November with an increase of 17.9% regarding last year same month. In fact, Mediterranean coast spots such as Catalonia and Balearic Islands continue to lead internacional tourist preferences
Tourist source countries with major growth are Russia and Nordic ones. In 2013’s first eleven months, 1.5 million of Russian visitors came to Spain (31% over last year) and 4.5 from Nordic countries (17% over). Anyway, both nationalities’ numbers are still far from most usual foreign tourists’ in Spain: British (13.7 million); German (9.4 million) and French (9 million).
Spanish tourism has been dropping for two years, but some indicators point out to some hope: overnight stays increased in November, especially among Spanish tourists, by 12.7% against 5.9% of foreign visitors.
This light rebound in the domestic market is due partly to prices discounts, but it means a step forward at least. Another question is how this “sell off” is translated into Spain’s tourist companies’ accounts.
According to Exceltur, the sector’s association, 60% of tourist companies did not increase their sales in high season and 66% did not improve their profits either. Travel agencies and tour operators are enduring the most negative consequences considering they are the most exposed business to Spaniards’ demand.