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Catalonia continues to lead foreign tourism, with a 7.5% increase in August

Tourism booms in Spain, with 9 million international visitors in August 2014, up by 8.8% since last year. Official data shows record breaking numbers, with August being the busiest month. In the first seven months of this year, tourists spent over €34.5 billion, the highest number in history. Catalonia is the most popular destination, attracting over 2.4 million tourists in August alone, a 7.5% increase from last year. Following Catalonia, the best results were seen in the Balearic Islands and Andalucía, all of which showed significant increases in recorded visitors for this year. August has been the busiest month on record, with tourists mainly coming from France and Italy, while over the whole year, the most frequent visitor continues to be British.


22 September 2014 09:48 PM



Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia continues to lead international tourism in Spain, with record figures for 2014, according to official data from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. In August alone, over 2.4 million (2,411,942) tourists visited the Catalonia, an increase of 7.5% from the same time last year. This increase is to be seen across the whole of Spain, which has seen unprecedented figures with 9.07 million people visiting the country between January and August this year, an increase of 8.8% on 2013 figures. Catalonia remains Spain’s most popular tourist spot, attracting 11,693,055 foreign visitors in the first 8 months of the year . This is 26% of all tourists coming to the whole country, an increase of 6.1% since last year. Increases in tourism numbers were seen throughout Spain in August. After the top choice Catalonia (2.41 million, 7.5%), the next most popular destinations were the Balearic Islands (2.19 million, 6.2% increase) and Andalucía (1.19 million, 5.6% increase). More money has been spent by tourists in Spain this year than in the country´s history, with a record breaking €34.497 billion spent between January and July, a 7% increase from last year's figure. According to official data from the Spanish Government, an eye-watering €8.15 billion was spent in Catalonia alone, in just seven months between January and July this year, 5.3% more than 2013. British citizens continue to be Spain's biggest fans, with French and Germans close on their heels.

9 million foreign tourists to Spain, a new record

A total of 9.07 million foreign tourists have visited Spain this year's first 8 months, the highest number in history. By far the most popular destination continues to be the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, which attracted a record breaking 2,411,942 tourists in August this year, the country's busiest month. Not only has the total number of tourists increased by 8.8% across Spain, there have been increases in recorded visitors across the regions, from the top spot Catalonia (7.5%) to the second and third most popular destinations, the Balearic Islands with 2,193,677 tourists (a 6.2% increase) and Andalucía with 1,186,226 (5.6% more).

Brits to the Balearics

The leading market in Spanish tourism continues to be Britain, with 2,136,879 tourists visiting the country this year. The most popular destination for the Brits is the Balearic Islands, followed by the Canary Islands, Catalonia, Andalucía, Valencia and Madrid. While the British pack off to the islands, the next largest group of 1,981,643 French tourists choose Catalonia for their holidays, and the third group of Germans joining the English.

Most money spent by tourists in history

In Catalonia alone, international tourists spend €8.151 billion between January and July alone, 5.3% more than last year, according to Spanish Government figures. The same publication by the Ministry of Tourism reveals that €34.497 billion was spent during this time in the whole country, the highest figure on record, 7% more than in 2013.

From the airport to the hotel

Air travel continues to be the most popular mode of transport for visitors coming to Spain, with 72.7% of tourists arriving by plane, with the next 24.6% entering on road. While the majority of visitors (53.7%) stay in hotels, with 4,869,345 international tourists booking rooms. The remainder is still a surprising 46.3% that chooses to stay in other types of accommodation.

More tourists are choosing to travel independently, with 75.5% of the total booking their own trips, a 14.6% increase from last year. While package holidays have declined in popularity, only 24.5% of the total, a drop of 6.6%.


  • Tourists enjoying rafting at the Noguera-Pallaresa river, in the Catalan Pyrenees (by ACN)

  • Tourists enjoying rafting at the Noguera-Pallaresa river, in the Catalan Pyrenees (by ACN)