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Foreign tourist spending in Spain up 12.9% in 2017
TOURISTS visiting Spain shelled out far more cash in 2017 than the previous year, even though Catalunya's disputed independence referendum saw spending fall in the autumn.
Year-on-year growth, as at the end of November, was around 12.9%, and for that month, holidaymakers spent 10.3% more in Spain than they did in November 2016.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in 2017 – excluding December, for which figures are not yet available – visitors parted with a total of €82.3 billion whilst on holiday in Spain.
In November alone, they spent €4.64bn.
After 10 months of continuing growth, November saw a drop in cash stumped up by tourists visiting Catalunya – of 4.2% compared with the same month in 2016.
But even then, holidaymakers in the north-eastern region left behind €18.3bn in 11 months, or 10.6% more than in the same period in 2016.
Including accommodation, the average holidaymaker spent a total of €1,054 – around 2.7% more than the previous year – with daily spending rising 0.4% to €139, relating to food, excursions, shopping and entertainment.
A typical stay in Spain in 2017 lasted 7.6 days, up from 7.4 days as at November 2016.
Predictably, the highest spending was seen in July (€11.9bn) and August (€11.34bn), steadily rising over the year from January's €4.25bn, then going down after the main summer months.
Spending was high in September, at €9.43bn, given that in the last few years, this has been one of the hottest months in Spain and, in 2017, August brought disappointing weather.
This said, rain and grey skies in August on the Mediterranean meant a significant business boost for retailers and restaurants as holidaymakers had to change their sunbathing plans.
The Canary Islands took the most money from tourists in November 2017 – helped by the region's mild climate, which means the beach season lasts longer than on the mainland – accounting for 32.5% of the total, whilst 20.2% of the money was spent in Catalunya and 13.6% in Madrid.
Foreign visitors spent 14.8% more in the Canary Islands than in the same month the previous year, and 21.5% more in Madrid.
The average spend per head went down by 2% in Catalunya in November across the board, although spending on daily costs such as shopping, food, entertainment and trips rose by 9%.
For 2017 as a whole, not including December, the highest spending – 22.2% of the total – was seen in Catalunya, whilst 18.5% of the cash was left in the Canary Islands and 17.6% in the Balearic Islands.
Overall, in those 11 months, Madrid saw the greatest increase in tourist spending at 15.9%, followed by Valencia's 15.7%, Andalucía's 12.9%, the Balearics' 12.3% and the Canary Islands' 12.1%.
In accordance with usual trends, Brits made up the largest national group of foreign holidaymakers and spent 17.9% of the total, whilst Germans accounted for 13.3% of the cash spent and the four main Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, for 12%.
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