TOURISM

Spain: a new tourist record in 2015?

Nearly 61 million visitors arrived in the first 10 months of the year, new data shows

Tourists in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor.
Tourists in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor.EFE

Tourist arrivals in Spain grew 9.7 percent in October, for a total of 60.8 million tourists in the first 10 months of the year, according to a flash estimate released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Last year, nearly seven million tourists came to Spain in the last two months of the year.

The latest figures are the first to use a new methodology to tally tourist arrivals

These figures mean that the country will likely beat last year’s record of 65 million visitors. By comparison, the population of Spain is around 46 million.

Adding to the optimistic forecast is the fact that the Canary Islands is expecting to see a surge in arrivals over the Christmas period as visitors shy away from more unstable destinations such as Egypt and Turkey.

The INE data shows that French arrivals grew by more than 20 percent in October, and the number of British tourists increased 12.1 percent.

More information

The latest figures are the first to use a new methodology to tally tourist arrivals, which is set to come fully into force from January. The October data uses a combination of old and new counting methods.

From the start of next year, the INE will also review 2015 figures to make them comparable. The changes are not significant, however, and mostly involve more frequently updated regional samples that will be easier to compare with other indicators such as overnight stays.

English version by Susana Urra.

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