Record-Breaking May: Spain Welcomes Highest Number of Tourists

Spain has achieved a remarkable feat in May, setting a new record for international tourist arrivals, announced the country’s statistics agency on Tuesday. A staggering 8.2 million tourists from around the world visited Spain during the month, marking a significant increase of 17.6% compared to May 2022.

This figure also surpassed the previous May record set in 2019, prior to the pandemic-induced travel restrictions, by a notable 3.8%. Notably, these visitors contributed a total expenditure of €9.73 billion ($10.62 billion), with an average spending of approximately €1,183 per person, showcasing a promising 3% growth compared to the previous year.

Spain’s tourism momentum continued to surge, with May outshining the already busy Easter holiday period in April. The statistics agency reported an additional one million visitors in May compared to the preceding month. Among the countries driving this influx, the United Kingdom took the lead with 1.8 million visitors, constituting approximately 22% of the total arrivals. France and Germany closely followed with 1.2 million and 1.1 million visitors, respectively.

Economists recognize the significance of Spain’s tourism industry in the country’s economic growth narrative, particularly after witnessing a staggering 130% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2022 compared to the previous year. However, concerns loom over potential challenges that may impede a full-scale revival of the sector. Slowdowns in key source markets like the United Kingdom and Germany, coupled with a significant decline in Russian visitors, have raised uncertainties. These latest tourism figures emerge less than three weeks before a general election, where incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, banking on the country’s economic recovery, faces the dual challenge of rival center-right opponents and the growing influence of far-right sentiments in his re-election campaign.