Most of us in Spain will already know that last year was a record year for tourism, especially here on the Costa del Sol in resorts like Estepona and Marbella. However, we didn't realise how much of an increase it actually was until the projected figures were released from the UN World Tourism Organisation.
It is now official that due to some 82 million visitors to Spain last year, it is now widely expected that Spain will have surpassed the USA to become the second most popular tourism destination in the world. The official figures will be published in the Spring, hopefully confirming this
Even with the terrorism and independence issues in Barcelona, it did not widely affect the overall visitor numbers to Spain.
In general Europe was up around 8% from 2016 indicating that the Med and the great weather and extended summers across countries like Spain and Portugal all helped lift tourism. In addition, there seemed to be a 'cooling off' of people deciding to visit the USA.
Spain has always been in the mix but just below the USA in terms of numbers. For example, in 2016 the USA received 75.6 million visitors, whereas Spain received 75.3 million.
News from within Spain, via prime minister Rajoy had already confirmed the record year with the information that tourism sector, which accounted for 11% of the gross domestic product, rose by a massive 12% to a figure of €87bn in 2017.
With tourism of course comes additional spending in other sectors and a buoyant tourism industry ultimately drives higher property sales.
Property in Estepona for example is seeing a great deal of interest and it is where many of the brand new developments are now being built.
See here for more information on property for sale in Estepona