2017 Spain will break tourism records. What is good about Spain? Why are more people moving here?
As the Spanish news headlines tell us that 2017 is set to break all of the previous tourism records it is a good time to reflect on why and what is so good about Spain in 2017 that makes it possible.
To me, with 27 years experience of living here in Spain, it is instinctive and evidenced by decades of building, consolidation and more building. There was always a feeling that one day this place will be great, it will be the prime tourist destination of Europe and the world. After so many years of constantly ‘getting there’, I am beginning to think we may well have arrived.
A good indicator of this is the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2017 produced for the World Economic Forum in which for the second time in a row the tourism sector ranked as the most competitive in the world. Spain received a top score of 5.4 out of 7 on its Competitiveness Index, over France and Germany, which ranked second and third respectively. The report pointed out Spain’s good infrastructure, security and wealth of cultural and natural resources, a world class aviation infrastructure and a modern transport system. This is the reward for successive Spanish governments prioritising a solid transport and tourism infrastructure created with strong policy support. Spain has been climbing the tourism competitiveness scale: in 2011 it ranked 8th; by 2013 it was 4th, and in 2015 it was awarded the world title and won again in 2016, when 68 million people arrived and spent 52 billion Euros.
There is more; the baby boomers, the richest and best educated generation ever, are drawing the biggest pensions ever, and leaving the cold wet north for a new home in the sun. Fibre optic is covering Spain in a highly competitive telecoms environment at a time when working from home with the Internet allows more people to to choose their ideal location. In a virtuous circle a percentage of visitors decide to become residents, and an increasing number of visitors brings more residents. What we are seeing now is a new age of growth in Spain where 50 years of vision, planning and work meet the need of an age when holiday and residential tourism are at their most popular.
Welcome to Spain, better than it has ever been before.