Spain

Spain

Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are four times more likely to be male than female
  • 42% of spending came from holiday visits, 27% from visits to friends and/or relatives in 2016.
  • More than half of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British expats)
  • 89% of visitors from Spain are either ‘very’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Visited a Pub

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

Measure2016
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)20.2
Global rank for international tourism expenditure13
Number of outbound visits (m)23.5
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2016
Population (m)46.4
GDP per capita PPP (US$)32,986
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)0.3
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)3.2

Inbound visits to Britain

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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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What Spaniards think about Britain

  • The cultural products that the Spanish most strongly associate with Britain are museums and music
  • Cultural attractions are amongst the most important reasons for choosing Britain as a holiday destination
  • The Spanish rate Britain highly for ‘contemporary culture’, ‘vibrant cities’, ‘sport’, ‘cultural heritage’ and ‘historic buildings and monuments’, but less so for ‘scenic natural beauty’ and ‘welcome’; Britain was rated 11th and 22nd out of fifty nations respectively on these two attributes in 2014
  • Areas of strength for Britain include ‘good shopping’, ‘the ease of getting around’, ‘party’ and ‘to watch sporting events’ while very few consider Britain as the best place for ‘food and drink’
  • France and Ireland were the most considered competitor destinations by Spanish visitors in 2016

Caring for visitors

  • Websites, brochures, leaflets, signs and so on, need to be available in Spanish
  • Bed & Breakfast accommodation is popular, especially outside London, or boutique budget hotels which are centrally located
  • Spanish are interested in local colour – markets, pubs, interesting excursions and shopping possibilities
  • The Spanish tend to eat late, normally not taking dinner until after 9pm

The leisure & travel trade

  • Virtually all tour operators feature Britain either in a dedicated brochure or as part of a European programme
  • Generally tour operators use ground handlers in the UK
  • The planning cycle is later than in other European countries, taking place from January-April and May-September
  • Personal relationships are very important to the Spanish and take time to build

Access to Britain from Spain

Measure2016
Weekly aircraft departures2,452
Weekly seat capacity449,280
Airports with direct routes in Spain32
Airports with direct routes in Britain28
Weekly ferry crossings7
  • Seat capacity from Spain has not changed greatly in recent years and is highly seasonal, reflecting demand for travel by Britons to Spain rather than vice-versa
  • Airports right across Britain have direct air links from Spain but Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted are the airports receiving the greatest volumes
  • The vast majority of visits from Spain are by air, all of whom are subject an Air Passenger Duty fee of £13