skip to content

The post-pandemic evolution of the tourism sector in Spain


The year 2020 was marked by the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Spanish territory was no exception. Now, two years later, do you know how the tourism sector is doing in Spain? Read on to find out how it is evolving!

Effects of the Pandemic on the Tourism Sector in Spain 2020

COVID-19 infections and travel restrictions have had negative consequences throughout the country, both in the health sector and in tourism. The percentage of tourists was reduced by about 77% during 2020.

Likewise, during the months of July and August 2020, tourist activity was estimated at barely 20%, even dropping to 10%, while hotel occupancy could not even reach 50% of its maximum capacity.

On the other hand, Social Security enrollment in December 2020 registered a 13.7% drop, not to mention that tourism entrepreneurs’ estimates implied at least two years of decline in the level of turnover.

In order to reduce the number of infected people and deaths latent in the pandemic, mobility restrictions were one of the most important measures to be taken during most of the year.

In this sense, the decision also had a negative impact on the tourism sector in Spain, as it caused a drop in air traffic of passengers wishing to enter the country.


You may also be interested in: Requirements for travel to Spain [2022].


And what do the statistics say?

According to Statista, a total of 76 million passengers were witnessed during 2020, compared to the 275 million recorded in 2019, representing an economic blow to Spain after six straight years of tourism growth.

With regard to the entry of tourists by air, we can mention a drop of around 80% and a greater impact on the major Spanish airports such as Palma Mallorca, Barcelona El Prat and Elche-Alicante.

The annual record of tourists to Spain did not reach 19 million in 2020, with the United Kingdom being one of the coming destinations with the highest impact of about 82.4% less than in 2019.

Finally, we cannot forget the impact on the hotel sector during the pandemic, while some remained open to accommodate workers fighting the virus, many others chose not to open their doors to the general public.

In addition, travel agencies in Spain suffered a year-on-year reduction of 74.5%, and a loss of at least 9,000 jobs was estimated for the date.


You may also be interested in: Basic guide to sightseeing in Spain


The recovery of Spanish tourism: relevant figures

We cannot deny the strong impact that COVID-19 had on Spain. However, now that we are in a post-pandemic era, the estimates are much better and a recovery in Spanish tourism can be noted.

According to SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index Organization, Spain is one of the countries currently showing the best tourism development, ranking ahead of the global average.

Thus, the tourism sector in Spain is driven by an increase in hotel occupancy in 2022, with the volume of bookings being 106% higher than in the pre-pandemic period.

This fact is accompanied by other indicators that contribute to the recovery in Spain, such as the increase in the arrival of international tourists to the country. During the recent month of July and August (2022), airline ticket bookings turned around and exceeded 20 million.

Similarly, in March 2022, for example, at least 4 million tourists were received, which means an increase of 72% compared to what was obtained before the pandemic.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, affirms that this year has seen a consolidation in the recovery of the tourism sector in Spain and that, moreover, it is expected to continue to intensify in the remainder of the year.

Likewise, the Easter season in this April 2022 represented a positive climate in the Spanish hospitality industry, with air capacity exceeding 29 million euros during the months of April to July.

In the case of the United Kingdom as an issuer of tourists to Spain, there is also a favorable change for the economy and the recovery of the sector. Thus, in March 2022, Spain received 827,000 travelers from this destination.

On the other hand, we continue to speak of a tourism evolution when analyzing the expenditure made by tourists, after the restrictions established in Spain that strongly slowed down the income of this sector.

In this sense, according to the National Institute of Statistics, the interest of foreign travelers in taking Spain into account as a tourist, vacation or business destination can be noted.

Thus, the average expenditure of tourists received in March 2022 is estimated at 1,257 euros, which translates into an annual increase of 13.6%, above that obtained in 2019. Similarly, total spending exceeded 5,000 million and reached 84% more with respect to pre-pandemic levels.


You may also be interested in: Can a foreigner drive in Spain?


Spain’s tourism potential is picking up again, after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you are thinking of visiting the country for tourism, recreational or business purposes, visit our blog first and find out more news about Spain this 2022.


Find here

The content you need

to set up your business in Spain.

¿What did you think of this content?

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Your email address will not be published .

Required fields are marked with *


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments