International tourism in Spain recorded its sixth consecutive record year during 2018 with growth in both the number of visitors from abroad as well as tourist spending.
Whilst we are still waiting for the final figures for December to be published, the Minister for Economy, Nadia Calviñio, has announced that a whopping 82.6 million visitors from overseas landed on Spain’s shores last year. Moreover income linked to tourist spending increased to nearly 90,000 million euros which equates to 10.3 million euros spent by tourists per hour!
Despite a quieter than expected summer season, which saw a drop in tourist numbers of around 2% as a result of a recovery in tourism in other countries in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, the positive growth witnessed in recent years continued throughout the off-season leading to greater growth in Spains international tourism sector than the countries economy as a whole.
On a regional level, according to the president of Turismo y Planificación Costa del Sol, Elías Bendodo, 2018 was also a record year for Málaga with tourist numbers reaching 12.5 million visitors and tourist spending increasing to 14,200 million euros. Employment within the province also benefited from the positive growth with 173,800 jobs created.
According to Bedondo, the forecast for the Costa del Sol in 2019 is already looking good with a 6.8% increase in flight reservation in the first quarter already.