Aerial view of Madrid, Spain. (photo via iStock/ Getty Images E+/Eloi_Omella)
Tourism officials in Spain announced an estimated four million travelers arrived in the country in March, more than eight times the number of visitors registered during the same month last year.
According to Reuters.com, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) revealed international tourists spent $5.37 billion while visiting Spain last month, a significant jump from the estimated $572 million recorded during the same period in 2021.
While the lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions aided the bounce back, the country’s tourist arrival numbers were still down about 1.6 million from the total registered in March 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Spain closes this first quarter with good data on arrivals and tourist spending, a trend that we hope will intensify in the summer period,” Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said. “Excellent employment figures together with the air capacity recovery make us optimistic.”
Last month, Spain took a step towards normalcy by making masking indoors obligatory, not required. The decision does not extend to public transportation, like buses or airplanes, though it does extend now to airports, bus terminals and stations, as well as in hospitals and nursing homes.
Earlier this year, wholesale tour operator Avanti Destinations teamed with the Tourist Office of Spain to educate and inspire advisors and their clients on customized independent travel to Spain. Avanti sells custom independent (FIT) travel exclusively through travel advisors.