Lonely Planet Writer

Spain is being crowned the holiday hotspot of summer 2017

We just can’t get enough of Spain, it seems, as figures show that a new monthly record was set for tourist arrivals there in July. The number of visitors rose 10.1% year-on-year, according to the National Statistics Institute, with the popular European country welcoming 10.51 million visitors during the month.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain. Image: Anshar/Shutterstock

The previous record was 10.02 million in August 2016, and in the first seven months of this year, the number of visitors grew by 11.3% to 46.9 million. The most-visited region was northeastern Catalonia, which attracted 2.5 million visitors. It remains a popular destination thanks to its Mediterranean coastline and attracted one out of four foreign visitors. The Balearic Islands came close behind with almost 2.5 million visitors, while Andalusia came third with 1.4 million visitors.

Travellers from the UK were the largest group of visitors to Spain by nationality in July, accounting for 22.1% of the total, or just over 2.3 million people. This was followed by 1.55 million from France and 1.4 million from Germany. There was a 36.5% year-on-year increase in tourists from Ireland, 23.9% rise from Russia and 17.7% from Switzerland.

Playa de Sotavento de Jandia, Fuerteventura, Image: Thomas Stankiewicz

The figures also showed that travellers are increasingly making their own travel arrangements, and all forms of accommodation are on the rise, particularly holiday apartments.

Main square of Trujillo at twilight. Image: Jose Ignacio Soto/Shutterstock

Tourism has played a role in Spain’s economic recovery, accounting for around 11% of economic output. The country is awaiting the figures for August, which is traditionally the strongest month for tourism although it remains to be seen if the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils have had an impact on visitor numbers.