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Spain's booming tourism hits record numbers

Spain's busy beaches (Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria, above)            Photo: Wouter Hagens / Wikimedia


If it seems like you've seen a stream of articles lately about Spanish towns wondering whether there's a point where being a tourist hot spot seems too much, it may be because tourists are visiting Spain in record numbers, fueled both by a "cheap Euro" and by fears about stability or safety in Greece and North Africa.


Here at Gumbo, we've published newslinks about Barcelona, the Balearics, the Canaries and the town of Magaluf feeling they might be reaching that point (in some cases because of bad behavior by hard-drinking rowdies). But on the whole, the tourism boom has been fueling Spain's economic recovery, and it's unlikely there will be any slacking in  efforts to build it.


For the first 6 months of 2015, according to government statistics, just shy of 30 million visitors picked Spain, nearly a quarter of them from the U.K. Other big visitors included France and Germany, with 28% between them. The U.S. accounted for 3.1%.


Visits from Russia dropped sharply; current currency situations make Spain more expensive for Russians  than  a year ago. On the other hand, the Euro has been at historic lows compared to the U.S. dollar, encouraging more American visits. Brits have also benefited from currency shifts.


In another note from the statistics, a growing percent of Spain's visitors, now more than a third, are skipping hotels for other accommodations. While there have always been some campers, it's likely the growing  trend is due to the growth of non-hotel rental lodging such as Airbnb.


For a deeper analysis of the  numbers from Spain's statistics agency in, click HERE


The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Most countries would envy Spain this particular problem.  Given how week other aspects of their economy are, I can't see the government putting a stop on this, despite the actions of some mayors.


I'd suggest they look at diverting tourists to less traveled parts of the country.  Spain is a large place and there are lots of places tourists hardly ever go.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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