According to the WTTC’s head, David Scowsill, Spain is expected to end the summer of 2016 having seen a 20 to 30% increase in the number of holidaymakers visiting the country, with Portugal and Italy other beneficiaries of the rather tense current climate.
Scowsill said that the “perception of security” is a powerful driver when it comes to selecting a holiday, and with the recent terrorist atrocities seen in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and France, millions have decided to err on the side of caution and head instead to the resorts of Spain.
Data from the WTTC has found that the number of tourists visiting Egypt this summer is down by 50%, while France’s reputation has been damaged following a string of deadly attacks all across the country.
Turkey, meanwhile, is doubly affected, being the location of many of the year’s most deadly terrorist attacks and also sharing a border with Syria and Iraq – the two nations where ISIS is strongest.
And it is not just the WTTC that has noted this trend. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is also expecting 2016 to be a record-breaker for the country. “Spain is going to set an all-time record for visitors from all around the world, including the UK,” said ABTA representative Sean Tipton.
Not only is a strong summer season a timely boost for Spain’s employment figures, but such increases have a lasting effect on people, boosting the chances of them returning year after year. In the first six months of this year, Spain recorded 32 million tourists – which is half the number seen in 2015, and that coming before the busiest months of July and August.
And happy holidaymakers mean not only a boost for the local economy, but they also generate sustained interest in purchasing property in Spain – which further improves the wider Spanish economy.