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Spain Sees Tourist Numbers Drop

Spain has seen a 2.2 per cent drop in tourist numbers, equating to around one million individuals, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Between January and June this year tourist numbers fell in Spain. A 3.1 per cent decrease in overnight stays was also recorded. This was likely fueled by a fear of excessive heat this summer and protests from locals about growing tourist numbers.

In contrast, last year around 82 million tourists visited Spain, of which 42 million came from the UK, France and Germany. A report by Spain’s official tourist board,
Turespana, forecasts a 4.2 per cent drop in the number of UK holidaymakers coming to Spain for the third quarter of 2018. Of those who do come to Spain are, it is expected that they will spend 5.3 per cent more this summer. It is likely that they will amount for 1.9 per cent more of overnight stays in 2018.

Protests about tourists are likely bad news for overseas property investors. This summer, protesters stormed a sightseeing bus in Barcelona, Barcelona officials already confirmed new legislation to curb excesses of tourism in January 2017.

The new law restricts the construction of hotels in the city and also prevents licences from being issued to new tourist accommodation rentals such as Airbnb.com.
Airbnb.com has been considered responsible for a lack of available rentals for local people.

In Mallorca officials introduced similar legislation in April, which also prevents short-term flat rentals in Palma de Mallorca being used for tourism. The island’s Council also has also introduced a tourist tax. In 2010, Mallorca hosted six million tourists, a number which rose to 9 million last year. This suggests that the tax is not curbing enthusiasm from visitors.

Local businesses in Mallorca are also calling for police action to combat the protesters against tourism, with many tourist resorts such as Marbella introducing stricter legislation to calm fears from local residents.

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