UK tourists fuel spectacular increase in Valencia November spending figures
30 per cent more was spent by foreign visitors to Valencia than in November 2015
As 2017 begins there is much uncertainty over the terms which will be agreed on for the UK’s exit from the European Union, but within the Spanish tourist sector it appears that any fears over the effect of Brexit on spending by British visitors are, for the time being at least, unfounded.
Throughout 2016 there have been increased numbers of people visiting Spain from the UK, and even after the Brexit vote in June and the subsequent devaluation of the pound there is little sign, if any, that they are spending fewer euros while in this country. This was underlined on Thursday by the publication of the latest tourist spending figures, which relate to November 2016, and which show that British visitors once again led the way in contributing to a new record for the eleventh month of the year.
Especially noteworthy was the case of the Comunidad Valenciana, which includes the Costa Blanca and the province of Alicante. This is always one of the most popular destinations for British visitors, and foreign tourist spending here was 30.4% higher than in November 2015 at 368 million euros: although there were also increases in the other main tourist regions (the Canary and Balearic Islands, Andalucía, Catalunya and Madrid), none came close to matching the spectacular rise in Valencia.
At the same time, it is noticeable that the average length of stay by visitors to the region rose by 22.1% to 10.3 days, and along with the increase in visitor numbers this is doubtless the main factor underlying the increase.
In Spain as a whole the amount of money estimated to have been spent by foreign tourists in November rose by 8.3% to 4,195 million euros, but again what catches the eye most is that while the number of British visitors rose by 12.5%, the amount of money they spent increased by significantly more: the government’s central statistics unit estimates an increase of 17.7% to 776 million euros, or 18.5% of the overall total.
The breakdown of the figures shows that not only were there more visitors from the UK, but that they also spent more per day than last November (120 euros) and more during the whole of their stay (895 euros). The only negative factor in the equation was that the average length of stay dropped slightly to 7.5 days.
The next most important markets for foreign tourism during the month were those of Germany, with spending of 530 million euros, Scandinavia (482 million euros) and France (291 million euros).
After 11 months of 2016 the year-to-date totals paint a similar picture, with the overall figure up by 8.4% at 73.1 billion euros and visitors from Britain contributing the most to this success. 21.1% of all spending came from the UK market, which has shown an increase of 12.2% to 15.3 billion, and while there were also increases in spending by visitors from France, Germany and Scandinavia, they were less significant.
The figures are higher for all six of the major tourist regions of Spain, but in the Costas the sharpest increase (of 13.6%) has again been observed in the Comunidad Valenciana. This is exceeded only by the 14.7% rise in Madrid, but with cumulative totals of just over 7 billion euros these two regions are well behind Catalunya (16.4 billion), the Canaries (13.7 billion), the Balearics (12.9 billion) and Andalucía (10.8 billion).