Spain’s tourism industry is fulfilling predictions for a bumper summer – perhaps the best on record – with 22.3 million foreign visitors expected to arrive between July and September, up 2 percent from a year earlier. And better still, these tourists are also likely to spend more money during their summer holidays in Spain compared with 2012, according to the Spanish government’s latest forecasts.

So is Spain’s tourism industry set to recover its former glory as a main pillar of the economy? Well the signs have been there for the last few months. The accumulated January-May international arrivals data showed a 3.9 percent year-on-year increase, the highest since 2008, just before the global economic crisis began to bite.

Dire winter weather in northern European countries, particularly the UK, has driven travellers to Spain’s shores, in search of sun, sea, sand, and equally important these days, safety. So perhaps now is the time to consider M&A in the Spanish tourism sector.

Spain: Our favourite holiday destination

Spain’s tourism sector accounts for over 11 percent of gross domestic product, but in the last year or so, rival destinations like Turkey or Egypt have lured international tourists with their beautiful resorts. However, recent political turmoil has taken the shine off these other Mediterranean holiday spots, and Spain is once again back in business.

A similar experience happened in 2011 when the impact of the Arab Spring drove tourists away from popular holiday places like Tunisia towards the beaches of the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands.

Tourism in Spain

Spain’s hotel industry is also logically benefiting from the upsurge in tourist arrivals, particularly establishments on the coast which are forecast to post an around 80 percent occupancy rate this summer. Property rental agencies are also looking to cash in on the boom, offering special deals for tourists looking to rent a hillside villa or a beach-front flat in key resorts such as Catalonia, Valencia or Andalusia.

Interestingly, despite a government investment plan aimed in part at beefing up Spain’s inland cultural and historic attractions, overseas visitors are not flocking to main city hotels this summer, according to the sector association Cehat. Instead, as the economic crisis continues to depress domestic demand, Spaniards are more likely to just make a day-trip to one of the country’s World Heritage Sites, such as Burgos Cathedral, rather than book an overnight hotel stay.

For more information on Spain’s tourism industry, contact Argali Abogados.

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