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'Staycation' tourism above pre-pandemic figures and at least 60% of 2019 foreign holidaymakers are back
Thursday, August 26, 2021 @ 8:10 PM

HOLIDAYMAKERS on 'staycation' in Spain are now back to pre-pandemic levels – or even higher – in many regions, although foreign tourist numbers still have some catching up to do.

National Statistics Institute (INE) figures have just revealed that July tourism – among residents in Spain visiting other parts of the country – was slightly higher than in the same month in 2019, the last 'normal' summer for the holiday industry, particularly in the Balearic IslandsCatalunya and Madrid, and with increases of over 100% on July 2020 figures in the Balearics, the Canary Islands and the capital.

International visitors remain below numbers from 2019 – which was, in itself, a record year – but are still dramatically higher than for July 2020, according to the INE.

The biggest increases on last year in holidaymakers from abroad have been seen in Madrid, climbing 268%, and the Balearic Islands, rising by 223%.

Hotel bosses were quoted in the INE report as saying recovery is very slow, but constant and moving in the right direction.

Regions whose tourist numbers among residents in Spain have increased beyond figures seen in July 2019, before the pandemic, are the Balearics (15.6%), Catalunya (12%), Andalucía (10.3%), the Basque Country (9.6%), Asturias (7.7%), the Comunidad Valenciana (5.3%), Galicia (4.2%), the Canary Islands (1.7%), and Murcia (1%).

Effectively, 'staycation' tourists have been more numerous since before the pandemic in all of Spain's coastal regions – except Cantabria (with a drop of 9.7%), Ceuta (falling 16.7%), and Melilla (down by 22.8%) - to the detriment of inland regions.

Although Madrid has seen a record rise in international tourism since 2020, it is still down 30.4% on national tourism from 2019; reductions since before the Covid crisis in Spanish resident holidaymakers were also seen for July this year in Castilla y León (down by 8.6%), La Rioja (falling 7.9%), Navarra (a reduction of 7.3%), Extremadura (falling 5%), Aragón (down by 4.5%), and Castilla-La Mancha (shrinking 3%).

In addition to the soaring numbers of foreign tourists in the Balearic Islands and Madrid in July 2021 compared with July 2020, massive increases have been reported in a handful of coastal regions.

The Canary Islands has seen a rise of 154.8% in tourists from abroad this July compared with last July; Catalunya, by 133.7%; Galicia, by 133%; Andalucía, by 120.8%; Asturias, by 112.8%, and the Comunidad Valenciana by 101%.

Regions still showing the highest reductions in foreign holidaymakers since the last pre-pandemic July are Madrid, down by 69.4% - despite numbers having rocketed since the pandemic year itself – Catalunya, down by 63.1%; the Canary Islands, down by 59.9%; Extremadura, falling by 59.6%, and Andalucía, by 59%.

The sum total of international and national tourists means the northern coastal region of Asturias is only 3.7% behind its full holidaymaker quota from 2019, or that it has more or less completely recovered from the impact of the pandemic on its incoming travel industry.



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