Spain Exceeds World Average In Its Capacity To Attract Long-Stay Tourism

Tourism spending in SpainTourists coming from Asia are interested in Spanish culture, historical heritage and the natural environment

Spain is above the global average in its ability to attract long-stay tourism (i.e., more than a week). This type of tourist accounts for half of the national offer, with long-stay trips considered “more satisfactory” than short-stay trips.

This is reflected in the ‘Study on the positioning of Spain as a tourist destination’ recently presented by the Real Instituto Elcano and Turespaña.

The project has been developed through a survey conducted in 33 countries, or in specific areas within some of the largest countries (China and USA), with a total of 17,300 interviews in Europe, Asia and North and South America. The fieldwork occurred at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, during the month of September 2020.

For tourists coming from American or Asian countries, who are more likely than Europeans to make this type of trip, Spain stands out slightly above average in terms of satisfaction with the trip (8.8 points on the 0-10 rating scale, compared with 8.6 for all destinations).

Shopping is an activity carried out by a quarter of tourists during their stay at the destination, and fashion products (clothing, shoes, accessories) stand out as the main purchases: 68% of tourists made purchases of this type, followed by gastronomic products (43%).

Climate and gastronomy vs overcrowding

In the case of Europe, where tourism in Spain is dominated by sun and beaches, satisfaction is slightly lower (8.1 compared to 8.3 for all destinations). Amongst Europeans, the main cause of dissatisfaction with their tourist experience in Spain is overcrowding (24% of Europeans mention it as a reason for dissatisfaction). Meanwhile, climate and gastronomy stand out as particularly positive elements of their visit to the country.

Price is not a problem, or a cause of dissatisfaction, since they are seen as very competitive, both for European markets and for those far away.

Prefered destination in Europe for Asians and Americans

In American or Asian countries, Spain is the preferred destination for an upcoming trip to Europe, on the same level as Italy. On both continents, 20% of respondents choose Spain as their preferred destination for an upcoming trip to Europe.

Amongst European countries, Greece (13%) comes out on top as the preferred destination for the next trip, followed by Italy (12%) and Spain (11%). It should be noted that Spain has been visited in the last 4 years by 36% of the European population.

Tourists’ expectations of what they will find in Spain are different depending on their country of origin. For those coming from Asia or America, culture, historical heritage and the natural environment are the main factors of attraction (mentioned by 31%). For European tourists, Spain’s beaches and climate occupy that position (34%).

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.