Replete with natural and manmade attractions, Spain is one of the leading tourism destinations in the world. Although Spain has attracted travelers since the prehistoric time, tourism industry in
the country had developed significantly during 60s and 70s of the last century.
Spain is the second most visited country in Europe, preceded by France and followed by UK. With millions of international tourists visiting Spain every year, tourism is one of the thriving industries of Spain.
International Tourist Statistics
Spain is the most popular travel destination of tourists from the British Isles. Almost a quarter of tourists come to Spain from the United Kingdom. A significant number of visitors from Germany, France, the Nordic countries and Italy visit Spain every year.
Beaches and Seaside Resorts
The tourism industry of Spain depends exceedingly on the seaside resorts dotting the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline of the mainland and the archipelagoes. Spain earns most of its tourism-related income from ‘sand and sun’ tourism. Most of the developed beach areas of Spain are in Costa Blanca. Benidorm is the most visited beach resort of the white coast. This part of the Mediterranean coastline of Spain is especially popular among tourists from UK and Germany. The Catalonian coastline, especially Costa Brava, is popular among French travelers. Costa del Sol in Andalusia is another popular summer holiday destination. The two archipelagoes of Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands attract a large number of tourists from the Scandinavian countries and other parts of Europe every year. Among the Balearic Islands, Mallorca and Ibiza are the most visited islands in the Mediterranean. Gran Canaria is the leading island holiday destination in the Canary Islands archipelago.
Steeped in history, the Spanish cities and towns are popular destinations for cultural tourism in Spain. Barcelona and Madrid, the two largest Spanish cities, are the top city destinations in the country. Seville and Granada are other popular cultural tourism destinations of the country. The most visited World Heritage Cities of Spain are Cordoba, Ibiza, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela and Toledo.
Method of Transport
More than 75 percent foreign tourists come to Spain by air. A small number from the neighboring countries choose other modes of transportations such as train, car and ferry services.
Types of Accommodation
Hotels are the most preferred accommodations in Spain. A significant number of travelers own accommodations or stay with family or relatives. Holiday homes and apartments are rented by a small number of foreign tourists.
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