Spain is the top holiday hotspot for Brits with the Canary Islands leading the way

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 12-03-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: Stock Image
Spain is the top holiday hotspot for Brits with the Canary Islands leading the way

In the realm of British holiday preferences, Spain, including the Canary Islands, continues to reign supreme, emerging as the top destination for sun-soaked getaways. According to Turespaña, the Spanish tourism authority, the allure of Spain extends beyond the traditional 'sun and beach' experience, evolving into what is now dubbed as 'beach plus,' where tourists combine seaside relaxation with diverse activities and experiences.

Remarkably, Spain has witnessed a strong resurgence in British tourism, particularly since the summer of 2022, a trend that persisted throughout 2023. While the current economic instability in the UK has caused a notable loss of purchasing power among its citizens, Spain remains an exception, with the Canary Islands leading the charge in attracting British tourists.

Recent data from the UK's Office for National Statistics highlights Spain's position as the go-to destination for British travellers. Between April and June 2023, Spain had an impressive 18.4% market share in outbound tourism, leaving competitors like France (8%) and the USA (7.6%) trailing far behind.

Spain welcomed 17.3 million UK visitors in 2023, reflecting an 18.7% year-on-year increase, however, this figure falls short of 2019 numbers by 3.8%, equivalent to 683,855 fewer tourists, as reported by the National Statistics Institute (INE) in Spain.

Interestingly, despite the slight dip in tourist numbers, British visitors outpaced their pre-pandemic spending figures. The 17.3 million UK tourists splurged a total of 1.1 billion euros in 2023, an 11.8% increase from 2019 and a significant 16% jump from 2022.

Breaking down the profile of British tourists in Spain, the majority (93%) travelled for leisure, with hotels being the preferred accommodation choice for 69% of visitors. This demographic primarily consisted of middle-class travellers (58%) with higher education backgrounds (72%), often journeying as couples (36%) or families (27%). The average age of these tourists stood at 45.6 years, slightly above the overall average of 44.1 years.

Their preferred activities included going to the beach (76%), shopping (55%), and city explorations (54%), with a notable inclination towards non-package travel options (58%).

The Canary Islands emerged as the top choice for 31% of British tourists, followed by the Balearic Islands (21%) and Andalusia (15%). As Spain continues to bask in the limelight of British holiday preferences, the allure of its diverse offerings remains a beacon for travellers seeking the perfect blend of sun, sea, and unique experiences.

Spain is the top holiday hotspot for Brits with the Canary Islands leading the way