Spain Breaks Tourism Records as Second Most-Visited Country in the World

The number of International Tourists visiting Spain broke records for a fifth straight year in 2017, overtaking USA as second most-visited country in the world.

Spain, where tourism accounts for around 11 percent of the economy, has seen a surge in international visitors partly due to security concerns in other popular holiday destinations such as Egypt and Turkey.
Preliminary data released late on Wednesday 10th of January 2018 showed the number of visitors arriving in Spain rose 8.9 percent year-on- year to 82 million tourists, which would make Spain the world’s second most visited country after France and push the United States into third place. 

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Marbella, Calle Ancha

Figures showed that tourist spending also hit a new record in 2017, rising 12.4 percent in the year from 2016.

According to final data for the first 11 months of 2017, also released on Wednesday, British tourists remained Spain’s largest group of visitors by nationality, accounting for 18 millions tourists, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

Catalonia remained Spain’s most visited region in 2017, despite two Islamic militant attacks at major tourist haunts in August (which left 16 people dead and more than 100 people injured) and political uncertainty over Catalonia independence movement, government statistics showed.

Living up to its name, Costa del Sol is actually the sunniest area in Spain, with shining rays on the region for almost the entire year. The region in southern Spain sees more than 320 sunny days each year, according to The Local Spain. The distinction was confirmed in a report from the national meteorological agency.

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Marbella, Golden Mile, Costa Del Sol

The cities of Málaga and Marbella are deemed to have the best climate in the country, with about 3000 hours of sun a year – the most in all of Spain. It is also noted for having a mild climate due to the sea, which help keeps the temperatures tolerable through the year.

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Beach in Marbella

The country also boasts the most expensive beach destinations in Europe. Tourists and connoisseurs enjoy typical Andalusian Cuisine as much as Michelin Star Restaurants. Walks by the Old Town (Casco Antiguo)  and cycling on the Paseo Maritimo (promenade by the sea). Malaga now features an impressive list of International Museums (Centre Pompidou, Picasso Museum, Museo Carmen Thyssen..) 

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Malaga Aerial View with Plaza de Toros & the Harbor’s New Cultural Promenade

Marbella is famous around the World for its unique Nightlife and sense of Fiesta, attracting the Jet-Set since the 1960’s.  Video

Today, Marbella also hosts exceptional International SPAs, Golf Courses, Art Galleries and Designer boutiques. In addition to the famous Marbella Luxury Weekend set to happen this year in September.

Traditional Andalusian crafts such as Olive Oil making meet young Tech parks aiming to transform Malaga & Marbella in Smart Cities offering the perfect work-life balance.

Which encourages discerning investors in-the-know to benefit from attractive Spanish Residency Conditions. Following which, Real-Estate Sector has seen an increase in activity due to rising demand from Nordic, UK, Russia & Middle Eastern countries. What is commonly referred to as ‘Golden Residency’.

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Private Helicopter Arrival to Marbella

The tourism surge has raised business activity in the sector, including increased merger and acquisition interest between hotel groups and expected passenger records at Spanish airports.

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On Wednesday 10th of January 2018, NH Hotels (NHH.MC) declined a takeover offer by rival Barcelo, an operation which would have created the country’s largest hotel chain, though it said it would still analyze future strategic possibilities.

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Malaga Citadel & Old Town

The sector will continue to grow in the coming years due to expected economic improvement in visitors’ home countries and increased flights and destinations, the tourism association Exceltur said on Thursday.

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Coral Beach, Marbella, Golden Mile

“Spanish tourist businesses expect a 5.6 percent growth in their income and 5.3 percent growth in their profits in 2018” Exceltur vice-president Jose Luis Zoreda told a news conference.

*Latest Update:

Additionally, a new direct flight Beirut-Madrid via MEA was announced on April 5th, to start on the 16th of June with 3 flights on Mon, Thurs & Saturday:

 BEY/MAD – ME241 / Departure 09:10 – Arrival 13:15
– MAD/BEY – ME242 / Departure 14:45 – Arrival 20:10

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Additional Sources: Reuters  Alba AsenjoDominguez Mirror UK