Healthplan Spain


Airport passengers pulling suitcases Spain Recovers Half Of Pre-Covid International Tourist Numbers Spain News

Slowly but surely, Spain’s tourist industry is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, registering more than five million international tourists in September.

The latest numbers released by Turespaña show that the country has now recovered more than half of the tourist numbers received prior to the Covid pandemic.

In September, more than 5 million people visited the country, compared to 9.7 million who visited in September 2019. This was also an increase of 437% on the same month in 2020.

When looking at the accumulated figure for 2021 so far, the country has now received more than 20.7 million visitors, 12.7% more than in 2020.

Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism said that the data "reflects that we are going in the right direction and that the recovery of the Spanish tourism sector is solid and consolidating month by month according to the official data".

According to Maroto, the data suggests that for Spain’s biggest tourist markets, the country is still “perceived as a safe and quality destination where you can enjoy a few days of rest”.

And this has been possible thanks to the good pace achieved in the process of vaccination, which has allowed the transfer of certainty to the international traveller, together with the use of the EU-COVID digital certificate, which has facilitated travel within the EU, together with the efforts of our tourism sector and the success of promotional campaign deployed by Turespaña and our offices abroad to reinforce the position of our country as the first vacation destination," she said.

Official figures show that of the total number of passengers who travelled to Spain in September, the majority (59.8%) did so via a low-cost airline with the remaining 40.2% electing for a traditional airline.

Tourist Numbers by Country

Spain saw a positive increase from all of the main tourist markets.

Germany (18.5% and 934,338 visitors) saw the biggest increase, up 688% year-on-year with the majority of visitors travelling to the Balearics and the Canary Islands.

Another of Spain’s most important markets is the UK with 17.3% of the country’s visitors. Year-on-year figures were up 387% when compared to the same month in 2020. In total, 877,108 Brits visited Spain.

The third highest in terms of visitor numbers was Italy with 428,661 passengers who primarily visited the Madrid and Catalonia regions.

These were followed by France with 394,856 visitors and the Netherlands with 379,636.

Of all the markets, the Netherlands has seen the biggest recovery with 85% of the numbers who visited in September 2019.

Tourist Numbers by Autonomous Region

The Balearics saw the largest number of visitors with 23.2% or 1,176,055 passengers. Of the 5 million visitors to Spain this year, 24.7% were destined for the Balearics.

This was followed by the Community of Madrid (19% and 959,706 passengers), Catalonia (18% and 908,572), Andalusia (13.6% and 689,937), the Canary Islands (12.1% and 613,951) and the Valencian Community (11.8% and 597,870).

By airports, Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas was the one that received the highest volume of international passengers (19% of the total), followed by Palma de Mallorca (17.1%), Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat (16.9%) , Malaga (11.3%), Alicante (8%), Ibiza (4.9%), Tenerife South (4.7%), Valencia (3.8%), Gran Canaria (3%) and Fuerteventura (2.2%).

The numbers will be a welcome boost to Spain’s tourism sector which has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.