Tourist arrivals from China increased by 420% in the first six months of the year

Aug 7, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Spanish Tourism Institute (Turespaña) has published the executive files on tourist issuing markets for the second quarter of 2023, which include the cumulative data for the first half of the year.

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Tourist arrivals from China

The analysis of the 19 countries studied in the files – 15 European, three Asian (China, Japan and South Korea) and one American (United States) – shows the consolidation of the United Kingdom, Germany and France as the main tourist source markets for Spain, the intense rebound of the Asian market, with China at the forefront, and the strong rebound of the United States.

For the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, “the recovery of the Asian market, mainly of tourists from China, is excellent news for our tourism. In 2023, with this summer’s additions, we will recover 80% of pre-Pandemic connections, and 2024 will surely be the year of full consolidation of this market, which is so important for our country”.

Recovery of the Asian market
The number of tourists from China has increased by 420% in the first half of 2023 and spending by 592%, compared to the same period last year, according to data estimated by Turespaña based on INE microdata.

Due to the severe restrictions imposed by the Chinese government due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both growth and spending rates were relatively low in 2022 compared to other countries, which has had an impact on this year’s strong growth figures. Currently, there are no longer any restrictions on Chinese tourist arrivals, with the country’s authorities requiring only an antigen test for return.

Moreover, Spain is once again an Approved Destination Status tourist destination (which includes countries to which China allows group travel).

For their part, the other two major Asian countries of origin of tourists to Spain have also experienced strong growth in the first half of the year. The flow of tourists from South Korea has increased by 258.4% and spending by 215%, always compared to the same half of the previous year. Japan also continues to show very high growth figures (200% in arrivals and 134% in spending), as it did in 2022, according to data estimated by Turespaña based on INE microdata.

Boom’ in the United States
Of the countries analysed by Turespaña, the increase in visitors from the United States stands out among those from the American continent. The arrival of tourists of this nationality has increased by 54.7% compared to the first half of 2022. In addition, the total expenditure of tourists from the USA grew by 61% compared to the same period last year. It should also be noted that in 2023 there will be 23 direct routes between US and Spanish destinations, one more than in 2022.

“The US market is of paramount importance for our tourism sector. Its progressive and notable recovery speaks highly of Spain’s capacity to generate tourism proposals that aspire to excellence. We are a safe, sustainable and modern destination that American tourists, with high purchasing power and high-quality standards, choose as one of their favourite countries to enjoy their holidays in Europe. This is a triumph for the country”, says Héctor Gómez.

He also points out that “the American is a very interesting tourist who spends considerably more than the average spend of other markets and prefers local experiences, such as culture and gastronomy. Therefore, it is a more seasonally adjusted tourist than the one who comes more focused on the sun and beach months”.

United Kingdom, Germany and France
The United Kingdom, Germany and France continue to be the main countries of origin of tourists to Spain. The United Kingdom is at the head of the three. In the first six months of the year, the British market is the leading market both in terms of tourist expenditure, accounting for 18% of the total, and in terms of tourist flows, 20.7% of the total. In this semester, visitors from the United Kingdom have increased by 19.8% compared to 2022 and have spent 16% more.

Germany, meanwhile, is in second place in terms of expenditure (up 12.7% this semester compared to 2022) and in third place in terms of visitors (up 12.9%). In terms of growth, tourists arriving from Germany have increased by 10.8% in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, and have also spent 12% more.

France is the third largest market in terms of tourist expenditure (after the United Kingdom and Germany), accounting for 7.9% of the total, and the second largest country in terms of tourist inflow (13% of all arrivals). French tourist arrivals have also experienced significant growth in the first half of the year, up 23.3%, as has their expenditure, which has increased by 24%.

Other European markets
In the cumulative 2023, Portugal shows a significant growth compared to 2022, both in the flow of tourists (+27.1%) and, above all, in expenditure (+47.4%). Spain is the first destination for Portuguese tourists abroad and the first country to receive their spending.

Another interesting market is the Netherlands. The figures for Dutch arrivals to Spain in 2022, with more than 3.9 million, far exceed the 3.6 million of 2019, which shows a complete recovery of this outbound market to Spain after the pandemic. And in the first six months the figures continue to grow compared to the same period in 2022, both in terms of the flow of tourists (+0.5%) and in terms of expenditure (+3.7%).

Through these executive files, Turespaña disseminates and makes available to the professional sector and other public administrations its knowledge and tourism intelligence to develop a better work and attraction of tourists to our country.