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For the first time since records have been kept, Spain was visited by 9,070,024 tourists in the month of August 2014 alone, bringing the annual total up to a staggering 45.4 million visitors to one of the world's favourite holiday hotspots.
The Inbound Tourism Survey commissioned by the Spanish government reveals that 3 million more non-resident travellers have visited Spain than in the same period of January to August last year.
FRONTUR, the institute of tourist studies who prepared the report found that most holidaymakers came from the UK with 2,136,879 visitors, second was France with 1,981,643 and Germany third with 1,290,777 people holidaying in a plethora of top-class Spanish resorts.
Tourists flocking to enjoy one of Spain's many Blue Flag beaches
America showed the highest growth rates in visitor numbers to Spain with an increase of 35.4% in 2014 to 147,404 tourists, accounting for 1.6% of the total. Significant growth rates were also seen in other visitor-nationalities such as Portugal (24.4%) and Italy (15.5%).
Andalusia was the third most popular destination in August 2014 with 1,186,226 tourists, 13.1% of the total and an increase of 5.6%. The tourists visiting Andalusia were mostly British and French although a large number were from Germany and Belgium. Between January and August, 5,979,922 tourists visited Andalusia – accounting for 13.2% of the total and an increase of 8.1%.
Accounting for 23.6% of all inbound tourists in August, the United Kingdom maintained its position as top visiting market with 2,136,879 tourists, an increase of 5.8%. In terms of popularity amongst British tourists, the Balearic Islands ranked first followed by the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Catalonia, Valencia and Madrid. The UK also holds the top spot in the figures on the period from January to August, during which time 10,584,155 British tourists visited Spain – an increase of 5.6%.
Beautiful view of Malaga, capital city of the Costa del Sol
Air travel was the chosen form of travel for 72.7% of visitors with 6,596,964 choosing to fly to Spain in the month of August, an increase of 8.3%. 24.6% of tourists, or 2,232,838 people entered Spain by road and 2.6% of travellers arrived by other means, according to the report.
From January to August 2014, air travel was again the most popular form of travel with 36,006,938 inbound tourists arriving by air, representing 79.3% of the total and an increase of 6.7%.
Hotel occupancy improved by 4% in August with 53.7% of visitors choosing hotels, with 46.3% staying in non-hotel accommodation, an increase of 15%.
The number of inbound tourists travelling independently increased 14.9% in August to 6,859,355, accounting for 75.5% of the total while 2,219,669 tourists chose to travel on a package holiday, a decrease of 6.6% indicating a growing preference for independent holidaying during peak season.
70.3% of the total and an increase of 6.6% while the 13,480,352 travelling on a package holiday accounted for 29.7% of the total, an increase over the same period last year of 9%.
Thousands of tourists are attracted by Spain's world-class golf courses
The first half of 2014 saw increasing property prices for the first time in six years, signalling a revival in the market due to increased interest from foreign investors. Spain is one of the few countries in Europe that has not seen spiralling prices, largely due to weakened domestic demand.
However on the back of heightened sentiment for 2nd homes among foreign investors, prices are now beginning to improve, particularly in areas popular as tourist destinations.
With tourism figures breaking all records, property prices in locations such as Andalusia, The Balearics and the Canary Islands are set to see significant upward trajectory, driven by overseas buyers.
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