The tourism and travel sector in Spain started this year with a fall of 1.9% in January in the balance derived from this activity, a contraction of 44 million euros compared to January 2018, which places the surplus for tourism in 2,323 million euros.
This result is the result of an income of 3,785 million euros in January, a 3.1% increase, due to foreign tourist spending that reverts to Spain – it does not include the one made at source – and of some Spanish payments to the abroad for trips of 1,462 million euros, 12% more, as shown by the balance of payments of the Bank of Spain and includes Europa Press.
Spain received a total of 4.2 million international tourists in January, an increase of 2.2% compared to January 2018, with an increase of 3.6%, to 4,689 million euros, according to the data provisional surveys of Frontier Tourist Movements and Tourist Expenditure (Egatur).
The average daily expenditure per tourist in the first month of the year was 1,117 euros, with an annual increase of 1.4%, while the average daily expenditure grew by 5%, to 138 euros. The stay among tourists of longer duration fell by 5.1% and the number of hikers increased by 8.5%.
During the first month of the year, the main issuing markets were the United Kingdom, with 807,347 international tourists (+ 1%), Germany, with 515,989 (+ 2.7%), and France, with 446,307 (-8.7%). The increases experienced by the United States (+ 25.5%), Portugal (+ 21.7%) and Ireland (+ 10.8%) stand out.
WAY OF A CHANGE OF CYCLE?
In 2018, the sector surplus amounted to 40,455 million euros last year, which represented a contraction of 0.3% in an exercise in which tourism suffered a slowdown to grow for the first time in a decade less than GDP . There was no fall in the tourism balance since 2015 (when it also fell by 0.3%, after increases of 9% in 2017 and 5.3% in 2016).
The Alliance for Tourism Excellence (Exceltur) already warned that in 2019 there will be a change of cycle in the Spanish tourism sector with growth rates «well below» those obtained in recent years, but maintained at 1.7% its estimate of growth in Spain for this year, compared to 2% registered in 2018.
We must remember that Spain sealed its best tourist year in 2018 with an increase of 2%, chaining nine consecutive years of growth, and again exceeding the barrier of 60,000 million euros in tourism revenue (62,498 million euros), with an increase of 3.7% due to foreign demand.