Global leader in competitivity, the Spanish tourist market

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The Spanish tourist market, global leader in competitivity

The first competitive global tourist power

Spain is found to be the first competitive global tourist power in a World Economic Forum’s report.

The Spanish tourist market keeps increasing and this year’s provisions are higher than 2016’s. Spain was visited last year by 75.6m tourists, up to 10.3% more than in 2015, especially those coming from the United Kingdom (17.8m tourists, up to 12.4% more), France (11.4m visitors) and Germany (11.2 travellers).

In fact, just in the first quarter of 2017 have already visited our country around 8 million tourists, up to 11.3% more than in the same period of 2016. This provoked that tourism sector organisations increase by three decimals their Tourism GDP’s provisions in Spain from 3.2% to 3.5% during 2017.

Last Travel & tourism Competitiveness Report

The good health of the Spanish tourist market was confirmed in the last Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In this investigation, Spain is located at the top as a global touristic power in competitiveness by the second time.

This report shows up to 14 indicators to analyse the touristic structure of 136 countries worldwide and it establishes a 7 points scale to evaluate this market. In this year’s edition, Spain has got a total of 5.4 points, nine decimals more than in 2016 (5.31 points) and it is placed before countries such as France (5.32 points), Germany (5.28 points), Japan (5.26 points) and the United Kingdom (5.20 points).

Other aspects Spain is also leading in that explains the tourism’s good health in Spain are natural resources, a field Spain is getting 6.8 points over 7 in; health and hygiene (6.3 points) and, finally, security with 6.2 points.

However another aspects to be improved and reformed would be the Spanish tourist market’s international openness which only reaches up to 3.5 points over 7, locating Spain in the 43rd place; a business-friendly environment, where Spain is located at the 75th place worldwide with just 4.4 points (far from countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom) and in fields related to price competitiveness (4.5 points, 58th place) an indicator in which countries like Iran, Egypt, Malaysia or Argelia are successful.

Finally, this WEF’s report highlights as a cause of the Spanish tourist market increasing the “recent ease of the fiscal policies” in Spain and the “tourism coming from security-troubled Middle East region”.

The most important industry of the Spanish economy

Tourism is the most important industry of the Spanish economy and its improvement is helping to leave behind the crisis’ negative effects. It is highlighted the United Kingdom consolidation as the main origin country of tourists, a factor that, with no doubt, it will strengthen the economic ties between both countries.

At Del Canto Chambers we are specialised in processing visa and residence permits applications between Spain and the United Kingdom. We can be contacted at

Xavier Nova (@xavinova)

Director at Del Canto Chambers