Spain finished the year 2016 with a record number of foreign visitors. That is, 75.6 million tourists visited the country that was an increase of 10.3% compared to 2015, according to statistics from the survey of border movements (Frontur). These data presented on Tuesday the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Thus, the result at the end of the year exceeded the preliminary figures presented by the Minister of Energy and Tourism, Álvaro Nadal, who at the time forecasted the number of 75.3 million foreign tourists, which would be by 9.9% more than the last year.
Only in December 2016, Spain received 4 million foreign tourists, an increase of 13.3% compared to the same month of 2015 and which was achieved thanks to the British market, which provided Spain with 879,152 travelers (22.1% of the total), which in turn means an increase of 16% compared to the same month in 2015.
The United Kingdom has also become a major source of tourists visiting Spain in 2016, with 17.8 million people, an increase of 12.4%; followed by France, with 11.4 million and the increase of 7.1%; and Germany, with 11.2 million people, which is at 6.4% higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, the market, which recorded the highest growth in 2016, was the Irish, with 1.8 million tourists and the 23% increase; followed by Portugal, with about 2 million tourists and therefore the increase was by 15.1%.
In addition, Catalonia was the autonomous community that was visited by the largest number of tourists during the last year, closing the year with almost 18 million foreign tourists, which is by 4% more than last year. It is followed by the Canary Islands, with 13.3 million visitors, an increase of 13.2%, and by the Balearic Islands, with 13 million people and an increase of 11.9%. The highest growth, in turn, was registered in Valencia, where preferred to travel the 7.8 million foreign tourists, which is by 16.6% more than in 2015.
With regard to the type of travel to Spain for 2016, in this case 60.6 million passengers used the airplane, which represents an increase of 11.7%, while by highways and roads entered the country about 13 million people that is the increase by 4.4%.
The main reasons for visiting Spain during 2016 were leisure and entertainment, namely 64.4 million visitors indicated these targets when crossing the Spanish border, which is by 10.1% more than last year. Compared to a fall of 0.7% in the volume of travelers and professionals who came to Spain for business purposes (4.7 million people).
According to the time of stay in Spain, the majority of tourists in 2016 stayed here from 4 to 7 nights, accurately more than 35 million visitors. This indicator rose by 9.7% compared to last year.