In 2019, the tourism industry accounted for over 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP). Last year, it accounted for just 5.5%, many are wondering how it is positioned this summer. The team of analysts at ForwardKeys examined the latest air ticketing data to Spain this summer for international and domestic travel to uncover a few gems.

Domestic travel in Spain this summer: The appeal of Ibiza

While the international market is recuperating and growing to 50% of traveller volumes of 2019 July figures, it’s domestic travel pulling up the tourism sector during the pandemic, proving to be the most resilient. Currently, domestic travel in Spain is -19% on travellers when compared to July and August in 2019.

The top-performing destinations this summer are the Balearic Islands, up 9.7% and the Canary Islands, up by 0.5% to the same period in 2019.

“This means that the Balearics and Canary Islands will receive more domestic travellers than in the pre-pandemic period,” says Juan Gomez, Insights Expert at ForwardKeys.

The real tourism winner this summer in Spain of both international and domestic visitors is Ibiza. It is up by 26% for domestic travel and just down by 2% for international travel.

International travel into Spain this summer: Scandinavian dominance

“Despite the many international travel restrictions currently in place, Spain is managing to attract a wider pool of travellers from non-traditional markets – something pivotal for governments and tourism boards to factor in for 2022 travel strategies and tourism plans,” says Gomez.

Visitors from Sweden and Denmark are expected to exceed 2019 levels to Spain. And the good news is that they will stay longer.

“The average length of stay has crept up from 9 days to 12 days while there has also been a 5% increase in stays over 14 days for travellers from Sweden and Denmark,” says Juan Gomez.

“In terms of passenger profiles, travelling couples has increased by 7% for both countries and solo travellers from Sweden has grown by 2%,” adds Gomez.

Flight connectivity is another important element in driving tourism traffic. “The fact that the UAE makes the top five most resilient source markets is an interesting one as, since July 9, Etihad has twice-weekly flights to Malaga. Another example of improved flight connectivity is the Valencian Community, which is now 2nd most resilient for international arrivals, after the Balearic Islands, at -36.3%. It´s resilience being a testament to an increase in seat capacity and airline partners.”

The top five most resilient cities in Spain, attracting the most international travellers this summer are: Ibiza, -2%; Palma de Mallorca, -10%; Fuerteventura, -22%; Menorca, -22%; and Alicante, -34%.

“With last-minute bookings being the New Normal, we can only expect these figures to pick up as the demand is unleashed. We saw this once the UK Green list destinations were announced with a spike of 416% in issued tickets for Ibiza on July 24 when compared with the day before,” concludes Gomez.


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