Tourism in Spain

Tourism in Spain

Spain recorded a total of 83 million tourists in 2018, ranking 2nd in the world in absolute terms.

Without including the size of a country, such a ranking list may not be very meaningful. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Spain, the result is much more comparable picture: With 1.8 tourists per resident, Spain ranked 42nd in the world. In Southern Europe, it ranked 9th.

Spain generated around 81.25 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 5.8 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 40 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southern Europe.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism

Back to overview: Spain

The most popular cities in Spain for international travelers are Barcelona and Madrid. In 2018, Barcelona ranked 33rd among the world's most popular cities with 6.71 million tourists. Madrid was in 47th place with 5.44 million tourists.

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 877 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Spain spend as much as 1,246 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Spain from 1995 to 2018

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Spain each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 14 countries in Southern Europe.

Tourists per year in Spain

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 27.37 billion USD, or about 4.5 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 32.97 million tourists at that time and roughly 830 USD per person. Within 23 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased noticeably. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 81.25 billion USD, accounting for 5.7 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 982 USD for his holiday in Spain.

Tourism receipts in Spain per year

All data for Spain in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
199532.97 m27.37 bn $4.5 %830 $
199634.03 m29.75 bn $4.6 %874 $
199739.55 m28.65 bn $4.9 %724 $
199841.89 m31.59 bn $5.1 %754 $
199945.44 m33.78 bn $5.3 %743 $
200046.40 m32.66 bn $5.5 %704 $
200148.57 m33.83 bn $5.4 %697 $
200250.33 m35.47 bn $5.0 %705 $
200350.85 m43.86 bn $4.8 %863 $
200452.43 m50.00 bn $4.7 %954 $
200555.91 m49.57 bn $4.3 %886 $
200658.00 m53.16 bn $4.2 %916 $
200758.67 m59.91 bn $4.0 %1,021 $
200857.19 m64.42 bn $3.9 %1,126 $
200952.18 m55.75 bn $3.8 %1,068 $
201052.68 m58.35 bn $4.1 %1,108 $
201156.18 m67.81 bn $4.6 %1,207 $
201257.46 m62.94 bn $4.8 %1,095 $
201360.68 m68.41 bn $5.0 %1,128 $
201464.94 m71.66 bn $5.2 %1,103 $
201568.18 m62.45 bn $5.2 %916 $
201675.32 m66.98 bn $5.4 %889 $
201781.87 m75.91 bn $5.8 %927 $
201882.77 m81.25 bn $5.7 %982 $

All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.

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