Catalonia Emerged as Spain’s Most Popular Tourist Destination in 2023

Catalonia was Spain’s most visited tourist destination, with over 18 million visitors in 2023, as revealed by the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Tourism.

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In addition, this region was also the Spanish destination with the highest spending last year, generating nearly €20.9 billion, reports.

Compared to 2022, Catalonia marked a surge in both tourist numbers and revenues by 21.2 per cent and 26.7 per cent, respectively.

After Catalonia, Spain’s second most popular destination was the Balearic Islands, with over 14 million visitors, or 9.1 per cent more than in 2022.

During the same period, the Canary Islands welcomed 13.9 million visitors, while Valencia and Madrid hosted 10.4 million and 7.5 million visitors, respectively.

The rest of the communities grew by 23.8 per cent as a whole compared to last year.

Spanish Ministry of Industry and Tourism

In terms of spending, after Catalonia, the Spanish regions that generated higher revenues last year are the Canary Islands (€20.33 billion), the Balearic Islands (€17.72 billion), and Andalusia (€15.36 billion). All of these destinations witnessed an increase in income compared to 2022.

Spanish Tourism Recorded the Highest Figures Ever in Arrivals & Revenue

Overall, in 2023, Spain welcomed over 85 million tourists, marking the highest figure ever recorded since statistical records began, according to official sources in Spain. Furthermore, such a figure represents an 18.7 per cent increase compared to the previous year and 1.9 per cent growth compared to 2019.

In addition to arrivals, Spanish tourism marked a record in revenues last year, reaching over €108 billion. According to the National Institute of Statistics, such a figure surpassed 2022 levels by 24.7 per cent and 2019 by 18.2 per cent.

The majority of tourists that visited Spain last year came from the United Kingdom (17.3 million), France (11.8 million), and Germany (10.8 million).

Regarding spending at the destination, UK tourists spent over 19 billion euros in 2023, French tourists spent 9.767 billion euros, and German tourists spent over 12.9 billion euros.

As per the highest growth in 2023, the United States led the list, with 38.7 per cent more nationals visiting Spain compared to 2022 and 16.9 per cent more than the pre-pandemic year. US citizens spent over €7.8 billion, marking a significant increase compared to the previous years.

Furthermore, the number of Swiss tourists visiting Spain increased by 20 per cent.

The Spanish minister of tourism and industry, Jordi Hereu, among others, noted a surge in spending from American and Swiss tourists.

Both American and Swiss citizens correspond to a profile of tourists with high purchasing power, which results in a significant increase in spending at the destination and, therefore, in the quality and excellence of our tourist offer.

Jordi Hereu, Minister of Industry and Tourism

In addition to tourism figures, Spain set a new record regarding passenger traffic. Last year, 283 million travellers passed through Aena airports in Spain, exceeding the pre-pandemic levels. Of those, more than 189.7 million passengers travelled on international flights.