National statistic figures for April show a worrying decline in the number of arrivals in Spain, with only one exception, Valencia Province, which defied the trend and showed a strong growth.
Is something changing in the Spanish tourist market? The last couple of years were times of an unprecedented growth in tourist numbers – arrivals, expenditures, occupation rate… But in April, according to the study published by the National Institute of Statistics, this growth has come to an end and tourist arrivals were down 4.4%.
Part of it can be attributed to developments in Catalonia. This Spanish province had 11% fewer tourists than in April last year, but, the Canary Islands, normally the busiest Spanish tourist region, had even fewer tourist arrivals, showing a 12.1% decline. Balearic Islands hold the 3rd place, with a 6.8% decline, Madrid is 4th with a 6.2% decline, and Andalusia had only a minor decline of 0.2%. Comunitat Valenciana is the only region that registered growth in April, with 2.8% more tourists than in April last year.
Total numbers for 2018 so far are still better than numbers from 2017, thanks to the huge growth in March, but Catalonia and Canary Islands are for the first time this year in the negative territory, with almost 2% decline each. On the other hand, Comunitat Valenciana has shown the strongest growth in the whole of Spain, with 8.4% more arrivals.
Since January 2018, 2.28 million foreign visitors have visited our province and spent 2,149 million euros, 8.4% than in the first four months of last year. Only in April, the Comunitat received 770,745 international tourists.
So far, in 2018, the number of French tourists increased by 6.3% and the visits from Nordic countries grew by 7.6%. The highest increase was registered in the Belgian market ( 27.8% ) Dutch, (17.2% ) and Italian (19% ). The most promising figures for the region came from business travel numbers. Business arrivals to Valencia increased by 27.6%, which is a definite sign of a healthy tourist growth. April figures show a further increase of French tourists (+22.5%), Italian (+49.4%), and the Belgian by (+36.4%).