Murcia welcomed 342,054 foreign tourists in the first seven months of 2013, up 8.1% on the same period last year. 25,589 more visitors have so far selected the region for their holidays in 2013, with the French and British leading the charge.
Chris Mercer, Director of Murcia-based estate agent Mercers, is adding the good news to a rather successful year so far. “Last month we reported that Mercers had completed 70% more residential property sales in the first half of 2013 than for the same period in 2012,” says Chris, “and it seems this positivity extends from the real estate industry to the tourist industry. Not only has Murcia enjoyed a bumper year, but Spain as a whole received 34 million foreign visitors – up 2.9% on 2012 and officially a new Spanish record. What’s more, they’re spending more money – 6% higher than 2012. Incredibly good news for a country that relies heavily on tourism to fuel its economy.”
According to data from the Government’s official tourism statistics department, Frontur, Murcia’s 8.1% increase is well above the national average of 3.9%. It comes only second to the neighbouring region of Valencia which experienced an increase of 11.8%.
For July, the UK was Murcia’s main source of tourists with a 2.8% increase over 2012 contributing 50.1% of foreign arrivals to the Region. The French took an 11.4% share, a large 15.4% increase over July 2012. Meanwhile the Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden provided Murcia’s third largest source market for July at 10.6%, an increase of 15.1% over 2012. By far the biggest increase at 45.8% came courtesy of German, Dutch and Belgian visitors, each taking around 8% of the total. Russian arrivals were up six fold but numbers are minimal in comparison.
Looking at Spain as a whole, July smashed all previous records with the arrival of 7.8 million foreign tourists, 321,000 more than in 2012. Russians again staged the biggest increase, 30% year on year, with the Nordic nations at 18%. Catalonia, capital Barcelona, is Spain’s biggest draw receiving 25.8% of all visitors to Spain. Instability in Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt is thought to have contributed to Spain’s extraordinary tourism success.