Spanish tourism bounces back with 71 million visitors in 2022

The government of Spain has recorded a sharp rebound in the country’s tourism sector post-COVID, as travel restrictions continued to be relaxed last year.

According to Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto, Spain welcomed about 71 million tourists in 2022. 

While this figure was, however, still less than recorded figures for 2019 — when Spain had an unprecedented 83.5 million visitors according to research carried out by the National Statistics Institute (INE) — total tourist spend and duration of stay rose higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“The tourism sector is regaining its vigor and providing not only an important economic impact but also a social and territorial one,” Maroto told reporters in Rabat, Morocco, on Wednesday, where a delegation led by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez traveled to meet and engage in talks with the Moroccan government.

In her speech, Minister Maroto added that the government of Spain is determined to transition its tourism model towards sustainability and digitalization with the help of the European Union.

She further confirmed that tourists visiting Spain in 2022 spent about €87 billion ($94.8 billion).

In 2021, 31 million tourists visited Spain in the wake of the government’s easing of COVID restrictions. 

In the previous year, 2020, only 19 million tourists visited Spain, the lowest figure since 1969. Then, the pandemic greatly impacted international travel, according to INE data.

“2023 is again going to be extraordinary, despite the context of the war and the uncertainties linked to inflation and energy costs,” Maroto said.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Spain was the world’s favourite tourist destination after France. Spanish tourism currently represents about 12% of the country’s GDP.

Occupying the greater part of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain has several beautiful coastlines and beaches where tourists and holidaymakers often flock. The country is also home to numerous historic buildings spread across its two most popular cities: capital city Madrid and Barcelona, both of which remain choice destinations for international tourists.


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Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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