Celebrating Over 1 Million Irish Visitors Travelling to Spain

Over 1.2 million passengers travelled from Ireland to Spain between January and August 2015 according to figures released from the Spanish Statistical Institute and the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland. This figure represents a 12 per cent increase year-on-year. The number of Irish Visitors to Spain reached 977,844 over the same period last year, which is a 5.2 per cent increase.

Gonzalo Ceballos, Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland said: “I want to thank the Irish public for making Spain the leading destination for holidaymakers. The welcoming nature of the people, the rich culture and relaxed atmosphere, attracts and unites Irish and Spanish people making it a success story year after year.”

While June and July remain the most popular months for travel, the figures also show that 156,385 Irish residents travelled to Spain in August, 2015 alone. The five most popular destinations account for 90 per cent of Irish tourism to Spain. They are the Canary Islands, Andalucía, Cataluña and the Valencia Region, followed by the Balearic Islands (ranked in order of volume of visitors).Cañas otoño02

Ceballos added: “Safety, climate, proximity and good value for money are some of the key reasons for Spain’s attraction. Only two hours flight to mainland Spain and the fantastic air travel connections with nearly two million seats on direct flights to Spain available for 2015 are also a major factor in the extraordinary popularity of Spain as a destination.”

Ceballos continues: “Spain offers a broad choice of things to do and discover. With over 3,000 beaches and 678 blue flag awards marking it out as the number one country in the world for such attractions, there is no better place to relax. The country also offers new tastes, cultural and adventure travel, 435 golf courses and great soccer matches. Spain is a world leader with 44 world heritage sites, 45 biosphere destinations – all bathed in 300 days of sun. Irish visitors also value the fact that Spain has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and boasts an excellent healthcare system.”

According to CSO figures:

  • Spain accounted for nearly 1 in 4 of all the nights spent abroad by Irish tourists in 2014, which is more than the combined nights spent in France, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Northern Ireland (13.25 million nights, 24.7 per cent of total).
  • More Irish tourists holidayed in Spain than the combined total to France, Italy and Portugal making Spain only second to the UK in terms of the number of trips taken by Irish residents.
  • Travel to Spain has the highest share in Irish travel expenditure, 21 per cent of which was spent on travel to Spain (in excess of 1.2 billion euro). This is more than the expenditure of Irish travel to France, Germany, Italy and Portugal combined; or to “North America” and “Asia and Middle East” together.