BOOMING: €178 billion tourism spend at heart of Spanish economy

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BUSY: Spain's beaches were one of the main draws for tourists. Photo credit: Shutterstock


THE massive importance of travel and tourism in Spain has been highlighted by a report that claims €1 in every €7 contributed to the economy came from the sector.

Indeed, the country’s tourism industry is booming, with Spain overtaking the USA  into second place as the most visited nation in the world, after France, according to the World Travel Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector.

The main highlights of the report, which has been conducted every year for 30 years, are that the travel and tourism sector was worth €178 billion to the Spanish economy (14.6 per cent of GDP) and employed 2.8 million people.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “2018 was another year of strong growth for the global Travel & Tourism sector reinforcing its role as a driver of economic growth and job creation. For the eighth consecutive year, our sector outpaced growth in the wider global economy and we recorded the second-highest growth of any major sector in the world.

“In Spain, consumer spending experienced robust growth and the Travel & Tourism sector performed well last year. Spain has the potential to increase the size of its travel economy even further by growing the size of its business tourism sector. At present, business travellers account for only 12 per cent of all spending in Spain against a European average of 21 per cent.

“It is fitting, then, that WTTC will be hosting its 2019 Global Summit in Sevilla this April, bringing together global leaders and sector experts to gather in the European hub of travel.”

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