A total of 71.6 million international tourists travelled to Spain last year, representing a 130% boost to the country’s annual visitor numbers, according to the national statistics office INE.
While the 2022 figures still lag pre-Covid 2019 numbers, Spain remains as high as 92% of its pre-pandemic visitor numbers thanks to a particularly strong first half of 2022.
Financial services group ING expects Spain’s economy to grow by 1.2% this year – largely driven by a continued recovery in in-bound tourism across 2023. Domestic tourism has already fully recovered to pre-Covid levels.
A huge boost is expected from the return of Chinese visitors after China lifted its Covid travel restrictions at the tail-end of last year.
“There are also some early signs that the Chinese are keen to travel again. Once the health situation in the country normalises and the remaining travel restrictions are lifted, a growing number of Chinese visitors will boost Spanish tourism,” ING said.