Spain ended the first quarter of 2015 with a record 10.6 million international tourists, representing an inter-annual increase of 5.3% according to the survey by Frontur – Tourist Movements in Frontera, prepared by the Sub-Directorate General of Tourism Knowledge and Studies of the Ministry of Industry.
The Balearic Islands recorded the largest percentage increase, with 24.2%, followed by Andalusia, with 14.2% and Catalonia, with 5.2%. In March, 4.2 million foreign tourists came to Spain, an increase of 6.7%. The UK rose by 20.3%, while the market with the greatest percentage increase of 30.9% was Ireland.
Among the coutries with the largest number of tourists, the largest absolute increase during this period was that from the UK, which grew by 9.5% and reached the 2,115,070 arrivals, while the largest percentage increases were experienced by Italy (16.9%), Ireland (13.5%), Switzerland (12.6%) and the US (12%).
In March, 4.2 million foreign tourists came to Spain, with the increase of 6.7%. The UK remained the largest market and rose by 20.3%, while Ireland was the market with the greatest percentage increase, 30.9%. The other markets that stood out that month were Switzerland, with 18% rise, and Italy, with 11.5%.
Main tourist-generating markets
The UK was the main tourist-emitter of the first quarter, with 2,115,070 international tourists, and which had the largest percentage increase among the major markets, 9.5%, which constituted 19.9% of the total of arrivals. 895,571 tourists per month traveled to Spain, while the country also experienced the largest increase in the major markets of 20.3%, weighing 21.5% of the total. Communities of Catalonia and Andalusia were those preferred.
Germany with 1,651,665 tourists and an increase of 1.2% compared to the first quarter last year, ranked second as a tourist-emitter, reaching 15.6%. In March, 679,211 German tourists came, a decrease of 1.8% and a share of 16.3% of the total. Catalonia and Andalusia were the only communities affected.
France generated 1,648,203 tourists to Spain between January and March, representing a decline of 0.6% and the 15.5% of the total. In March, French tourists reached 632,815, a decrease of 4.5%, which is considered a rebalancing of the sharp rise that occurred in March of the previous two years; their participation was 15.2% of the total of the month. Madrid was the most affected.
The Nordic countries with 1,135,164 tourists and 10.7% of the total, experienced a decline of 6.3% between January and March. 429,139 Nordic tourists arrived each month which constituted a decrease of 6.5%; its share in total reached 10.3%. The Canary Islands were once again the community most affected by it.
Italy produced 639,121 tourists over the quarter, and the highest growth compared to the same period last year, 16.9%; its weight in the total was 6%. In March, the rise of 11.5% stood out. 239,155 was the numner of Italians who traveled to Spain, which represented 5.8% of the total. All communities benefited from the increase, except for Andalusia. Increases of note in March were strong increases in Ireland, 30.9% with 68,808 tourists; Switzerland, with 18% more and 104,972 tourists and Asian countries, which grew by 40.9%.
Access routes, accommodation and form of arrangement
8,710,984 tourists arrived by air in the first quarter, 82.1% of all arrivals, up 5.7%. In March, 3,388,113 tourists chose this path, 81.5% of the total, an increase of 7.8%.
The road was used by 16.3% of tourists, ie 1,730,751, an increase of 3.2% over the period, while in March 701,219 tourists chose this path, an increase of 1.7%.
In the first quarter, the largest increase, 21.1% belonged to the rented housing, which was the method chosen by 886,537 tourists, which accounted for 8.4% of the total.
But the greatest number, 6,981,865 tourists, ie 65.8% , chose the hotel accommodation, option chosen by 5.7% more tourists. In March, the rental also had the largest percentage increase, 16.1%, elected by 346,611 tourists, compared to 2,844,293, ie 68.4% of the total, who chose hotel.
Travel arrangement in the first quarter was 69.6% with no tour package, ie this form of travel was elected by 7,380,468 tourists, up 6.7%. In March, 2,799,832 tourists opted for this form, ie 67.4% of the total.