Spain’s tourism industry continues to attract attention despite recent unrests

Published on : Tuesday, December 19, 2017

indexAs the world’s third-most visited country, behind only France and the United States, Spain relies much on tourism and the revenue that it brings to its economy.

 
The tourism sector accounts for 11 per cent of Spain’s GDP, around one job in eight if indirect employment is included and a record spend of €77 billion (Dh332.26bn) in 2016, in spite of all the disturbances that the country has witnessed in recent times.

After a record four consecutive years in attracting visitors, Spain continued to attract visitors this year too. And in terms of visitor spend, the country holds second place, just after the US.

Spain’s success as a sought-after holiday destination again demonstrates the need to avoid exaggerating the deterrent impact of political unrest and terrorism.
Arguably a greater threat to Spanish tourism comes from the recovery of the Tunisian, Turkish and, to a lesser extent, Egyptian markets as those countries recover from security and stability problems of their own. Hence, 2018 might prove to be a tougher year for Spanish tourism.

“Spain and Portugal both benefited when people stayed away from Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt,” Sean Tipton, spokesman for the Association of British Travels Agents (ABTA), said. He added, “There are signs it is now working the other way round.” He also doubts whether political uncertainties in Catalonia will cause significant damage because, apart from the possibility of being caught up in protests, visitors are largely unaffected by such events.

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