The arrival of passengers to Spain from international airports grew in May by 71% compared to the previous month, reaching 1,396,549 travelers, the best figure recorded since August 2020. Even so, the figure is still 84.2% lower to that reached in the same month of 2019, according to the latest situation note published today by Turespaña.

“Although we are still far from the levels prior to the pandemic, the data indicate that we have begun a gradual recovery in mobility, which will increase with the advance of vaccination, the lifting of restrictions and the implementation of measures such as the EU-COVID digital certificate ”, has valued the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.

Germany was the main air passenger issuing market in May, with 407,431 travelers, 29.2% of the total; followed by France, with 191,035 passengers (13.7% of the total) and Switzerland, 98,329 (7% of the total).

Balearic Islands, main destination

The Balearic Islands was the main Autonomous Community of destination, with 386,247 international passengers arriving at its airports (27.7% of the total); followed by the Community of Madrid, with 351,647 travelers (25.2% of the total); Catalonia, with 196,466 passengers (14.1% of the total); Canarias, with 159,292 (11.4%); Andalusia 152,292 (10.9%) and Comunidad Valenciana, with 136,806 (9.8%).

By airports, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Palma de Mallorca were the ones that registered the most activity, receiving 351,641 and 315,711 international passengers, respectively. Together they account for almost half of the arrivals (47.8%). 195,840 international passengers arrived in Barcelona (14% of the total) and in Malaga, 134,057 travelers (9.6%).

55.4% of international air passengers arriving in Spain in May chose traditional companies to fly, while 44.6% opted for low-cost companies.

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The Government has presented today at the Museum of Fine Arts of Oviedo the Xacobeo 21-22 National Tourist Plan, a project to promote the Caminos de Santiago as a cultural and heritage product throughout the national territory with an investment that exceeds 121 million euros , which will be financed with European Next Generation funds. The event was attended by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, the President of the Principality of Asturias, Adrian Barbón, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes and the Minister of Culture, Language Policy and Tourism of the Principality, Berta Piñán. The event was also attended by those responsible for tourism from 11 Autonomous Communities and representative associations of the Camino de Santiago.

“The Camino de Santiago needs a specific plan to revitalize it, taking advantage of the celebration of a Holy Year that will last during 2022. If the Xacobeo of 1993 was fundamental to make the Camino de Santiago a star product of our tourist offer, 2021, the year recovery, will mark a new milestone in the revitalization of this millenary route ”, stressed the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, at the presentation ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts in Oviedo, the first of a tour that the Ministry will undertake to publicize the investments of this Xacobeo National Plan in the territories involved.

The minister explained that the Xacobeo National Tourist Plan is developed within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Government of Spain, the most ambitious exercise of public investment and reforms in the recent economic history of Spain and the greatest opportunity to our country since joining the European Union.

“The Xacobeo Plan incorporates measures to conserve and make better use of the Roads of Santiago, and to promote tourist and economic activity. It is a great country project that unites us around an unrivaled cultural, heritage and experiential offer ”, added Maroto.

Main investments

The plan is structured around five main investment axes that the Secretary of State has detailed:

o National Plan for Tourism Sustainability at Xacobeo Destination 2021-2022. Endowed with 45 million euros, it will finance investments aimed at improving the urban landscapes that the Roads cross, such as those related to improving mobility, signaling and accessibility on the different routes of the Camino; beautification of historic centers or rehabilitation of cultural assets.

o Tourism Product Development Program: The Camino is already a product that transcends its initial religious origin and today it is consolidated as a tourist attraction with enormous heritage, natural and cultural resources. After the impact of the pandemic, a global strategy is required to reposition the Camino as a safe destination, but also more inclusive, accessible and digital. To this end, 5 million euros will be allocated to generate or support products linked to the Compostela experience.

o Sustainable projects for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the historical heritage for tourist use of the Caminos de Santiago: With 65,286,148.27 euros, up to 61 publicly owned buildings will be intervened to make them sustainable, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions; modernizing its spill management systems; reducing energy and water consumption or installing smart technologies.

o Smart Tourist Destinations Program: 5 million euros will be allocated to support collaborative projects between destinations associated with the Caminos de Santiago that are members of the Smart Tourist Destinations Network. With a maximum investment of one million per project, it will have to be initiatives that bring together the entire value chain and that guarantee a real impact on the competitiveness and sustainability of the associated tourism offer.

o International promotion program: Turespaña, through the foreign network of ministries and its international promotion campaign, will invest 1,036,411 euros to promote the main routes of the Camino recognized by international organizations. The planned actions include the conversion of the public office of the Spanish Tourism Council in Rome, located in the Plaza de España, into an Interactive Multimedia Center (CMI) that will operate as an information point for the Xacobeo and whose inauguration It is scheduled for July 12.

Among the most important investments in the rehabilitation of historical heritage are, among others, the expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts in Oviedo and actions in the Cathedral of Mondoñedo (Lugo), in the Finca El Parral (Burgos), in the Palacio de los Fernández Alejo (Toledo), the Monastery of Iratxe (Navarra), the Royal House of Alzira (Valencia) or the New Monastery of San Juan de la Peña (Huesca).

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In the framework of the state visit of the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, has inaugurated in Barcelona together with the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, the Spain-Korea tourist conference to promote bilateral tourism exchanges between the Republic of Korea and Spain in Barcelona.

During the opening of the conference, Minister Reyes Maroto pointed out that Spain is working so that South Korean tourists bet more and more on our country on their trips to Europe. "You are welcome to Spain and we are looking forward to receiving you very soon to rediscover the excellence and quality of our destinations and tourist products or the natural wealth that all of Spain offers and that the Camino de Santiago allows you to discover, especially this Holy Year." For the minister, "Spain wants to recover the tourist flows between the two countries and return to the levels of 2019 where more than 630,000 tourists from Korea visited us, which is the third most important source market in Asia."

The head of Tourism highlighted that Spain is making an important commitment to digitization and the application of artificial intelligence applied to the tourism sector. As Maroto has detailed, the citizens of the Republic of Korea have at their disposal very useful tools to organize their trip to our country. “One example of this is the Travel Safe platform that collects safety recommendations and data of interest to plan trips to Spain. The portal provides information on the requirements and conditions for safe travel. "

Finally, the minister has also transferred to the Korean delegation the advances in the vaccination process in Spain, which already exceed 30 million doses supplied, more than 45% of the Spanish population has a dose and more than 26% the full guideline.

For Maroto, these data "offer a horizon of hope for the restart of safe travel and the reactivation of our tourism sector", together with new instruments such as the European digital certificate that will guarantee safe travel within the EU and the initiative of the OECD “Blueprint for safe international travel, which includes common protocols for safe travel.

Action Plan of the Biannual Tourism Program

After the opening ceremony, Reyes Maroto, and the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, Hwang Hee have signed the extension for one more year of the Action Plan of the Biannual Tourism Program 2020-2021 to complete the program agreed that was suspended after the pandemic.

A plan that gives continuity to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during the State trip of the Kings to Seoul in 2019.

The 2020-2022 Spain-Korea Mutual Visits Program contemplates cooperation in the following areas:

• Exchange of experiences, statistics and human resources in the field of tourism in areas such as tourism promotion and digital marketing, market intelligence, planning and development of tourist destinations, in particular, intelligent management of tourist destinations, the promotion of cultural heritage, governance, as well as the coordination of the different administrations and the development of sustainable tourism.

• Encourage the development of initiatives to increase tourist flows, with special emphasis on gastronomic tourism, film tourism, meeting tourism, incentives, conventions and exhibitions / events (MICE) and medical tourism.

• Encourage cooperation between regional and local governments of Spain and Korea in the field of tourism.

• Promote the association of tourism with cultural, artistic and sporting events, highlighting its potential for tourism development.

Likewise, other areas of cooperation are also foreseen, such as promoting the establishment of direct contacts between associations of the tourism industry and other related sectors, in order to attract investment in the tourism sector, especially in the hotel and infrastructure sector and facilitate technical assistance, through reciprocal visits by experts, the organization of seminars and work and training sessions in areas of mutual interest.

Korean tourist data

According to data from arrivals prior to the pandemic, 630,000 tourists arrived in Spain from South Korea in 2019, 29.6% more than in 2018, representing a market share of 0.8% of total international tourists and representing the third most important source market in Asia, after China and India.

With an average stay of 6.4 nights and a total expenditure of 604 million euros, the average daily expenditure of the tourist was 2,268 euros.

The main Autonomous Communities of destination were Catalonia (46.8%), Community of Madrid (31.3%) and Andalusia (18.7%).

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The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has intervened in the closing of the Digital Tourist 2021 held in Benidorm where the creation of an intelligent destination platform has advanced, a project with which Spain wants to place itself at the forefront of the tourist countries for its commitment to the digitization of the tourist experience and the integration of the service.

During his speech, Reyes Maroto highlighted that this tool places technology at the center of tourism policy. “In 2019 we connect destinations through the DTI network and in 2021 we want to be more ambitious: digitally connect destinations with tourists and, in turn, with companies, in such a way that a unique tourism intelligence system is generated that place us at the forefront of tourism competitiveness ”.

The objective of the platform will be to integrate, relate and combine public and private data to generate more competitive and business intelligence and thus activate models of continuous adaptation, interconnecting and meeting the needs of all agents of the tourism value chain: tourists, destinations and companies. For Maroto, "it is not only the development of a technological solution, it is the commitment to an intelligent and innovative way of working in the public and private sectors".

In this way, digitization and artificial intelligence are positioned as a lever to modernize our tourism model and for this, 130 million euros will be allocated from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. It is planned to last 6 months for its development and the first steps will be the deployment of the DTI self-assessment module, a georeferencing pilot and connection of the whole of the tourist offer with the destination managers, as well as the approval and Deployment of the platform model to a set of key destinations.

Intelligent destination platform

With this tool, a digital ecosystem is generated that will allow optimization of costs and deployment times, facilitating the use of metrics and interconnecting and meeting the needs of all agents in the sector.

For their part, the traveler will be able to interact through the platform with the destination and its companies, maintaining fidelity with the offer before, during and after the trip through different channels, such as social networks, the web or apps.

From the destination point of view, the platform responds to the main challenges encountered in its continuous transformation process. From promotion in markets, tourist information (cultural and activities offer), interaction with tourists during their stay (mobility, waste, security, hours and characteristics of services, health information, etc.) to physical and digital behavior of the tourist with analysis by tourist seasons, by segments or by applying predictive intelligence.

Lastly, for companies, the platform accelerates their business digitization process, both commercially and in management processes, and strengthens the technical preparation of workers. Also providing tools to generate better value propositions and their publication in the best channels for their promotion. Added to that is business intelligence, which allows you to compare your situation with respect to similar businesses in the destination and other competing destinations.

The project is an initiative in favor of technological sovereignty and competitiveness of Spanish tourism based on profitability, the cohesion of the sector and the generation of knowledge to address the challenge of the digital transformation of Spanish tourism in its social, economic and environmental levels. .

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The Spanish Tourism Institute (TURESPAÑA), a body dependent on the Secretary of State for Tourism, today presented a new panel with the most relevant and recent data on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of vaccination achieved, the evolution of flight searches to Spain carried out from all over the world and from each of the markets analyzed, and data on the perception of safety in Spain as a destination.

Aimed at professionals in the tourism sector, it brings together data from up to 30 of the most relevant countries for Spain as source of tourism in a single graphic visualization platform.

The panel collects, in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 14-day incidence rates per 100,000 inhabitants in each of the markets contemplated and in Spain and the percentages of the population that have received a dose of the vaccine, as well as the percentage of those who have received the complete vaccination schedule, all of which refer to the last 8 weeks.

Flight search evolution

In relation to flight searches, this tool reflects the evolution of the daily search variation index for roundtrip or multi-destination flights to Spain, in a 7-day moving average from the selected country or countries, during the last 8 weeks compared with identical weeks of 2020.

The application allows both the consultation of the global data and the data of each country, being possible the simultaneous selection and comparison of up to 10 markets of origin. This index has been developed in collaboration with the flight meta-search engine “Skyscanner” and will be operational until August 31, 2021.

Perception of security

Finally, the panel includes a fourth graph that reflects the variation index of the perception of safety in Spain as a tourist destination.

This index measures the level of trust shown by visitors and potential visitors to our country and is calculated using natural language processing techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning, on millions of spontaneous and real-time tourist mentions on social networks. This index is the result of TURESPAÑA's collaboration with the Spanish “big data” analysis company MABRIAN and with MASTERCARD Spain.

On the other hand, and simultaneously, TURESPAÑA has presented a series of 3 dynamic reports that reflect in an interactive and simple graphical interface, annual information on the flow of travelers and characteristics of tourists, as well as monthly information on the situation, from 26 of the main source markets for tourism to Spain. This information reflects different statistical sources and estimates based on them from 2016 to the latest available date.

The Government thus makes new market intelligence tools available to the Spanish tourism sector, aligned with the commitment to improve the tourism knowledge and intelligence model included in the Plan for the Promotion of the Spanish Tourism Sector.

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has chaired the meeting of the Spanish Tourism Council (CONESTUR) held within the framework of the International Tourism Fair (Fitur), where she has detailed the roadmap for the elaboration of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy of Spain.

During her speech, the minister stressed that a participatory process is being launched in which the sector and the autonomous communities are involved. "This is a national agenda that will be agreed with all public and private actors to face the challenges of the tourism sector in the medium and long term, promoting the double green and digital transition and betting on social and territorial cohesion," he said.

For Maroto, "the tourism industry faces new challenges that require a new, updated vision adapted to the new formulas that allow our sector to increase its profitability, improve the quality of employment and maintain the position of world leadership", he concluded.

The Sustainable Tourism Strategy, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, has a broad consensus of the tourism ecosystem and its general objective is to guide the evolution of the Spanish tourism model towards the future, laying the foundations for the adaptation of the tourism model to sustained and sustainable growth based on the following principles: socio-economic growth; preservation of natural and cultural values; social benefit; participation and governance; permanent adaptation and leadership.

The work will be carried out until the approval of the Strategy in March 2022. Under the initiative of the Secretary of State for Tourism, the working groups will be coordinated with broad public and private participation within the Spanish Tourism Council for each one of the objectives.

Sustainability plans

During the meeting, the Minister of Tourism expressed her satisfaction with the success of the ordinary call for the Tourism Sustainability Plans for 2021. In total, 272 applications have been submitted, 118 more than the previous one, which shows, in the words of the Minister, "the enormous interest that these plans have aroused and how, from the cooperation between the administrations, these projects and their investment are being decisive in the consolidation of a sustainable and quality tourism model".

The deadline for submitting proposals for this second ordinary edition ended on May 14 and all the Autonomous Communities, Ceuta and Melilla, except Catalonia, have participated.

The Secretary of State for Tourism allocates 23 million euros to this edition, which, once again, will be co-financed by the Autonomous Communities and local entities whose projects are selected.

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The San Isidro Labrador Festivities in Yecla (Murcia) have been declared today of National Tourist Interest after the resolution signed by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, in recognition of the cultural values ​​and long cultural tradition that they represent.

"The artisanal elaboration by the peñas of the more than 60 floats that usually participate in the Great Parade, representing aspects related to farming, turn these festivals into celebrations full of originality and tourist attraction for all visitors who come to Yecla on those dates ”, has valued the Secretary of State.

With today's declaration, the number of Festivals of National Tourist Interest in Spain rises to 151, eight of them in the Region of Murcia. In fact, Yecla also has its patron saint festivities in honor of the Virgen del Castillo, which are held at the beginning of December, declared of National Tourist Interest.

Held since 1943

Although its origin is older, the San Isidro festivities in Yecla (Murcia) have been celebrated annually since 1943. They were declared of Regional Tourist Interest in 2004.

The different acts that make up this celebration, from the election and proclamation of the Queens and Ladies of the Festivities, the Proclamation, the Eucharistic celebrations dedicated to the saint, festivals, parades, performances by folk groups, musical performances and, above all, the Great Parade of the Carrozas, constitute a true explosion of color, joy, originality, and great popular participation in each and every one of the acts.

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has participated today together with the rest of the EU Tourism Ministers in the High Level Forum for Sustainable Tourism convened by the Portuguese presidency of the EU in a telematic way with the aim of propose contributions from Member States in the elaboration of the European Tourism Agenda 2030-2050.

At the meeting, the minister recalled that it is urgent to launch the Digital Green Certificate to be able to restart trips safely and, with that, reactivate tourism. “Spain asks the tourism ministers to support its proposal to speed up the use of the certificate to generate confidence in travel within the EU and avoid unilateral decisions by some countries that already want to open their destinations. The EU has to give a coordinated response with common mobility protocols ”, Reyes Maroto has emphasized.

For the minister, “the development of the Certificate is good news, and has highlighted the broad consensus that has been registered to date among the Member States, and the speed with which it is being developed, since its announcement two months ago by the president. of the Commission ”. Maroto informed his counterparts that Spain is "about to start the pilot tests of the certificate."

The Minister of Tourism has also urged to make more flexible recommendation 912 of the Council of the EU on restrictions on non-essential travel from third countries. Thus, he hopes that on May 20, tourism trips between the European Union and third countries will be allowed to resume, eliminating restrictions on them depending on the epidemiological situation or the progress of the vaccination process in the countries of origin of travelers. "It is necessary to achieve a unity of action in the progressive opening of international mobility to generate credibility and trust in all European citizens and in travelers from third countries", added Maroto.

The minister has also defended that it is necessary to address a transformation and modernization of our tourism model towards a more sustainable, digital, quality and inclusive model. “Spain is going to mobilize 3,400 million euros in public investment through the Modernization and Competitiveness Plan for the tourism sector, which aims to keep Spain the most competitive country in the world in this sector. It is one of the 20 investment driving programs included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan that we have sent to Brussels ”.

Maroto ended with a message of hope: “tourism will be strengthened after this pandemic. And we must work together to accelerate the changes that travelers demand. The first guarantee safe travel, the second reduce the environmental impact of tourism and the third promote its digitization. The EU Tourism Agenda 2030/2050 is an opportunity to define the tourism of the future ”.

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The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, together with the general director of Turespaña, Miguel Sanz, have presented to the main representatives of the Spanish tourism sector and the Spanish and international media the campaign 'You deserve Spain', aimed at reinforce the positioning of our country as the first holiday destination of the main issuing markets.

During the presentation ceremony, held at the Parador Nacional de Alcalá de Henares, the minister stressed that Spain “is ready to reopen itself to the world very soon and welcome all those who want to give themselves a perfect vacation after the worst year of our lives. lives ”. The Minister of Tourism stressed the need to offer "confidence and security to the traveler" and assured that international tourists can "already plan their vacations in Spain" because our country is a guarantee of "safety and quality" and has a "wide and diverse tourist offer that guarantees the best experience for travelers who choose Spain, especially during the summer period due to its excellence in sun and beach destinations ”.

Maroto recalled that the green digital certificate that will guarantee mobility within the European Union (EU) will be launched in June. "This certificate, together with the good rhythm in the vaccination process, will allow transfer of certainty to the international traveler and present Spain as a safe destination."

The campaign developed by Turespaña, aims to transfer the traveler to a state of tranquility and rest, as well as enjoyment and carefreeness after everything suffered with the pandemic. The minister stressed the need to encourage breaking the psychological barrier created by the pandemic that can condition many people to stay in their country and not travel abroad. "You deserve Spain is synonymous with trust, safety and quality, three attributes that encourage traveling to our country," he stressed.

Miguel Sanz, general director of Turespaña, has highlighted that “this campaign is designed taking into account the main factors that can serve as a lever to reactivate the desire to travel and, more specifically, travel to Spain, mainly among those who have already ever visited. It is a campaign that aims at a rapid and intense recovery of international tourist activity this summer ”.

Campaign ‘You deserve Spain’

The campaign is designed to reinforce Spain's position as the main holiday destination in the main source markets (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland) and responds to the exceptional situation caused by the pandemic.

The aim of this campaign is to attract international tourists by overcoming three resistances: deciding to travel, doing it outside the country, and finally, getting them to choose our country as their vacation destination.

The campaign will run from May to July in digital format almost entirely with dissemination on social networks. For the launch, it will be reinforced in the United Kingdom, France and Germany with print advertising in the main newspapers and in travel and lifestyle magazines, together with outdoor advertising on digital street furniture, buses and on giant screens in emblematic places.

It will be aimed at different targets (young people, adults, families and seniors) presented in different environments of our destinations, such as sun and beach, the Camino de Santiago, urban or inland and nature.

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The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has participated electronically in the meeting of the G20 Tourism Ministers. In his speech, Maroto stressed that "for Spain it is a priority at the moment to accelerate the multilateral instruments to restart safe international travel, both the OECD initiative" Blueprint for safe international travel "and the" Digital Green Pass "that develops the European Union". The G20 is committed to supporting, complementing and coordinating these international initiatives in which Spain actively participates. As the minister explained, "for Spain it is a priority to guarantee safe mobility to restore confidence in travel and reactivate international tourism and the Spanish economy in general."

During the meeting, the guidelines developed for the G20 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to structure the recovery of tourism, based on seven policy areas: safe mobility; crisis management; resilience; inclusiveness; green transformation; digital transition; and investment and infrastructure.

The G20 work will also focus on the green transformation of the tourism industry and the need to support the evolution of global tourism towards sustainability.

In this sense, the Minister of Tourism recalled that another priority of the Spanish Government is to launch the Plan for the Transformation and Modernization of the tourism sector that will allow the mobilization of 3,400 million euros of public investment in the next three years financed with the Next Generation EU.

“Our objective is to maintain Spain's leadership in world tourism and for this we will address, together with the reactivation of the sector, the transformations necessary to modernize our tourism model, with pillars based on sustainability, quality, safety and digitization as a sheet of route ”, explained Maroto.

One of the fundamental and backbone elements of the Plan is sustainability, which is addressed preferentially through investment in a tourist destination, through Tourism Sustainability Plans. Another priority is the digitization of tourist destinations and companies to facilitate their access to more markets and tourists that are increasingly digitized and connected.

In the last two years, Spain has accumulated extensive experience in tourism intelligence and has developed a network of smart tourism destinations.

The minister ended with a message of hope about the future of the tourism and travel sector, “hope for the advancement of vaccination around the world, which we wish to accelerate. Hope because we are going to have tools to promote safe international mobility and we are going to undertake a profound transformation of the tourism sector to guarantee its future, which will be sustainable, based on quality, digital and safe ”.

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