New tourist flows boost summer arrivals virtualy back to pre-pandemic levels
Fecha: noviembre 2023
María José Moral
The high expectations for the recovery in international tourism appear to have been met this summer by comparison with 2019, particularly in terms of average daily tourist expenditure. Although changing dynamics within the sector are worth consideration. Firstly, there have been some shifts across the traditional source markets. While France has performed well, increasing its market share, the UK and Germany have relinquished part of their market share, reducing the aggregate commanded by these three markets to 47.4%, relative to levels of around 49% back in 2019. This shift has been accompanied by an increase in tourists from the Americas, with higher purchasing power. As well, although there are notable doubts about the outlook for the Chinese economy, there is still considerable upside emerging from the fact that Chinese visitors, who also generally command above average purchasing power, may increase now that all COVID-related impediments on tourism have been removed (since August). These two trends support an encouraging outlook for the sector heading into 2024. Lastly, Catalonia has fared poorly relative to the other main destinations within Spain, which are all back to pre-pandemic levels. Among other factors, overtourism may be behind the weak results posted by Catalonia in terms of both tourist numbers and their average daily spend. It is still premature to ascertain whether those numbers are the result of a slower recovery or a change in international tourist preferences around this destination.