Spanish Tourism: A sector filled with opportunity for mergers and acquisitions

Tourism in Spain is steadily growing. In 2012, not only did more foreigners visit Spain than in 2011, but they also spent more money on average. The data shows it all:

  • In 2012, 57.7 million foreign tourists visited Spain, an increase of 2.7 per cent.

  • International tourists who visited Spain spent 0.6 per cent more than in 2011.

  • Foreign tourists are expected to spend 6 per cent more in 2013.

  • In January 2013 alone, tourists spent 2.8 billion euros, up 6.5 per cent from January 2012.

Spanish Tourism: A sector filled with opportunity for mergers and acquisitions

Spanish Tourism: A sector filled with opportunity for mergers and acquisitions

The tourism sector is thriving. Last year it brought in a record-breaking 43.3 billion euros. In fact, it now accounts for over 11 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product. In further good news, the tourism industry achieved a surplus of 34.6 billion euros in 2012all this in the midst of a recession.

Car Rentals

The car rental sector is benefiting as well. The American car rental company Enterprise recently acquired the Spanish company Atesa. This acquisition allowed Enterprise Holdings to add some 30,000 vehicles to its fleet. It also gives Enterprise extensive coverage at 350 new locations in airports, train stations, and major cities throughout Spain. Enterprise Holdings’ Chairman and CEO Andrew C. Taylor states that the acquisition was motivated by customer requests, as “more and more of our customers are asking us to expand our footprint in Europe”. Taylor continued, “Over the years we’ve learned that when we listen to our customers, they lead us to opportunities, and this certainly is one of those opportunities.”


The hotel industry is prospering during this impressive tourism boom. From January to September 2012, Spain was ranked the eighth country in the European Union in terms of hotel occupancy, ahead of countries like Norway, Greece, and Portugal.


Famous chefs such as Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, Juan Mari Arzak of Arzak restaurant, and José Andrés, host of the television programme “José Made in Spain”, have helped to make Spanish cuisine world-renowned. Spain is, in fact, one of the countries with the most Michelin stars in the world. Consequently, it is a popular destination for culinary tourism. Wine and gastronomy tours throughout Spain continue to bring in large numbers of foodies. New tours and initiatives are opening up every day, making food tourism one of the most dynamic and creative sub-sectors of Spain’s thriving tourism industry.

The tourism sector in Spain seems to be currently providing many interesting opportunities for investors. If your company is considering an acquisition, merger or joint venture in this sector, contact Argali Abogados for information about our services.

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