10th December 2023
Benidorm Beach Safety
Barcelona News Business Catalonia News Economy & Employment Madrid News Main News Travel & Tourism

Foreign tourism in Spain fell by 80% in 2020 – the lowest figure since 1969

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (22 Feb)

The number of foreign tourists who visited Spain during 2020 fell by over 80% to 19 million, the lowest figure since 1969, according to official data released on Wednesday, with the Covid-19 pandemic devastating one of the country’s key industries.

Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019, receiving 83.7m visitors during the full year. Its tourism sector accounts for 12.3% of the country’s GDP – and it also generates more than 2.6m jobs in the country.

Tourist arrivals fell 85% year-on-year during the month of December, after the authorities also imposed further travel restrictions to curb a new increase in Covid-19 infections. Flights from the UK, for example, have been suspended since 22 December until at least 16 February, with Spanish nationals and residents being the only groups still eligible to travel. Passenger ships between the UK and Spain are similarly affected.

Benidorm Beach Safety
Benidorm beach being prepared as part of the beach safety measures during July 2020. (Ayuntamiento de Benidorm)

Tourists spent 86.1% less in December than in the same month a year earlier, the National Institute for Statistics (INE) also said. During 2020, tourists spent 19.7 billion euros, down by 78.5%.

Figures released last week also showed that 2020 saw a total 622,600 job losses in Spain, due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Total unemployment has reached 3.71 million (a jobless rate of 16.1%).

The latest Covid-19 figures released by Spain’s Health Ministry on Tuesday showed that the country has registered 2,851,869 cases since the start of the pandemic, and there have been 59,805 deaths. The current incidence rate is 846 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days.

Like other EU countries, Spain has also been affected by delivery delays of the Covid-19 vaccine. Latest figures (up to 2 Feb) show that the country has now received 1,769,055 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and that 1,673,054 jabs have been administered. This is 94.6% of total vaccines received. 418,519 people have now received a second jab.

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

Sign up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter from Spain in English

Please support Spain in English with a donation.

Click here to get your business activity or services listed on our DIRECTORY

Recent Posts

Spain’s Economy Minister Nadia Calviño chosen to lead EU Investment Bank

News Desk

Madrid imam arrested by Guardia Civil for ‘radicalising minors’

News Desk

Two US embassy staff expelled by Spain over spying dispute

News Desk

11 arrests, as police seize 260,000 litres of unconsumable ‘extra virgin oil’

News Desk

Queen Letizia’s former brother-in-law claims he had an affair with her

News Desk

Spain arrests two intelligence agents who allegedly passed secrets to the USA

News Desk

Leave a Comment