FOR the first time in history Andalusia has reached the astronomical figure of 32.5 million tourists and exceeds the growth forecasts twofold, from 3% to 6.1%. The figures were attained in 2019 and now the goal is to make a major leap in quality and sustainability in 2020.
This “historic” figure was presented by the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, and the vice president and Minister of Tourism, Juan Marin, at the opening of the Andalusian Pavilion at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur), which is being held as of yesterday, Wednesday, in Madrid.
Not even the Spanish Queen Letizia, who inaugurated the International Tourism Fair, wanted to miss out on all that the Andalusian community has to offer and leisurely strolled through all the stands of the different Andalusian provinces.
Of those 32.5 million tourists last year, 20 million were national, an increase of 8.4%, with foreign tourists making up the remaining 12.5 million, 2.5% more.
This data reflects the “undisputed leadership” of Andalusia in the national tourism market, generating employment and wealth in the region. In fact, according to the data provided by the Andalusian Government, on average, there are 420,000 employed per year in the tourism sector, with 2019 breaking records once more with a a rise of 5.1%.
The President of the Andalusian Government, Juanma Moreno, has stressed that “Andalusian tourism brings fuel to the economy and is pulling the employment bandwagon at national level”.
The record-breaking stats promise an exciting year ahead. The forecast for 2020 is to exceed 33.7 million visitors in Andalusia. The key, as explained by Juan Marin, is to bet on quality and sustainability. “The future of tourism in Andalusia depends on quality and sustainability, and on offering visitors a diverse and select destination that knows how to combat seasonality and overcrowding and that bets on new technologies,” he said.
Marin places emphasise on the commitment to the equestrian tourism as “It is a segment that has much appeal to markets that are important to us, such as the British and German.”
Andalusia has the largest stand at Fitur, with more than 5,300 meters and a host of cultural, heritage, scenic and gastronomic proposals to promote the region.
Fitur expects record number of visitors in its 40th edition