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Ajankohtaista tietoa Espanjan matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tilastoja ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Espanjasta matkailumarkkinana.

Current situation

You can travel to Spain if you are travelling from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country, which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travelers. This last group comprises Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

Spain has strict measures to control the worldwide healthcare crisis. There are also many precautions in place to ensure everybody's safety, including tracking infections, early detection of possible outbreaks, and containing localized cases.

Some regions of Spain have numerous outbreaks. Madrid and Aragon are some of the areas with most cases. However, Spain has a high rate of infections across the country now. Some specific areas have a local lockdown in place.

Border restrictions: Spain is on the list of countries subject to Category I border restrictions, for which internal border controls are maintained (border controls for Schengen countries).

Quarantine rules: Spain is included in the red category of the "traffic light system" established by the Finnish health authorities, recommending from October 12 to travelers from Spain 10 days of quarantine upon arrival in Finland (before 14 days). From October 1, it is possible to shorten the quarantine period by undergoing two coronavirus tests. Travelers staying in Finland for less than three days (less than 72 hours) should not be quarantined or take a second test.

At the moment Finnair is only flying from Málaga to Helsinki; nevertheless, it is expected that they will resume the operations from Spain, including MAD/ BCN and also Balearic and Canary Islands from April 2021 onwards. Lufthansa is flying to Spain since June 1st, connecting MAD / BCN via FRA/ MUC daily to HEL. KLM / AF started to fly to Spain beginning May connecting HEL daily from MAD/BCN. At present there are charter flights scheduled for December from MAD/BCN mainly to KAO, IVL and RVN in Lapland.

Consumer behaviour

65 % of Spaniards consider sanitary measures the most important factor when choosing a destination.

According to the Spanish travel trade, corporate travel, domestic holidays, and mid-haul will be the first segments to recover in Spain. Predictions say that Spain as a destination will experience the fastest recovery with Italy, France, and Portugal.

Overall, and based to the type of trips that travelers are booking behavior that shows the diverse interests of the country, agents and tour operators consider Europe to be the region that will recover first. In the case of Spain, agents expect Europe (33%) and Asia (30%) to lead the demand for international travel.

As for product segments, among Spanish travelers, once normality is restored, culture and heritage, nature, big cities, and wellness will be the most sought-after experiences, both in domestic and international travel.

Safety is priority number one for the Spanish traveler; our travel partners have detected an increasing demand for sustainable and non-mass tourism products where the country's authorities and society are involved in these policies. Finland should take this opportunity to increase Spanish consumers perception of a safe and sustainable destination; both tourism development policies must go hand in hand.

The economy will fall into deep recession this year amid the Covid-19 fallout. The vital tourism sector is set to languish amid the collapse in visitors and lingering travel restrictions. Next year, output is seen rebounding strongly in line with reviving activity. Economy experts foresee that the economy shrinking 12.2% in 2020. For 2021, they project GDP to grow 7.2%, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast.

Spanish Government presented The Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan claiming it would allow for an annual growth in GDP of 2.5 percentage points between 2021 and 2023. This plan goal is to create 800,000 jobs over the next three years through an investment of €72bn of European funds. The plan is based around four broad areas: the ecological transition, digitalization, gender equality and social cohesion.

According to latest survey published by CIS (Center for Sociological Research) Spain's consumer confidence indicator declined by 0.4 points from the previous month to 49.5 in September 2020, the lowest since December 2012, amid concerns about a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and its impact on the country's economic recovery and labor market.

Future Outlook

Tourism policy in Spain is moving the Spanish tourism model towards the principles of sustainability, innovation and knowledge. The broad aim is to develop a smart and specialized high quality product, fit for the digital age according to the new Strategy of Sustainable Tourism for 2030

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as Spanish travel professionals and intermediaries point out, the aspects to which travelers will give the greatest importance and which will be key to boosting reservations in the short and medium term.

According to a recent study "Travel Trends in the Spanish Market" for Online Searches in April 2020 Yoy shows when Spanish users are currently thinking about travelling continentally in percentage per summer months in comparison to the advanced searches this time last year. August is now the most searched month along with June while September becomes a more interesting search over last year at this point, indicating an increase in long term planning.
87% of Spaniards are willing to travel this year; almost 30% of this share will be for European destinations. From the point of view of travel agencies, post-covid tourism seen as an opportunity to reposition destinations that favor sustainable tourism and have resources that allow future visitors to enjoy nature in a safe environment.

  • Safety and sustainability must go hand in hand when promoting a destination according to professionals in the tourism sector.
  • Digitalization as a key element for the future business development in the commercialization of products in travel agencies in a post-covid era.
  • Omnichannel strategy approach: travel brands will be able to personalize the passenger experience and provide travelers with the right offer, through the right channel, during the entire journey. Know the customer at each stage of their journey. Identify underlying traveler needs and tailor the value proposition of each channel to the customer base.

Traveler segments already called the agencies for their summer holidays are mainly families and couples; summer holidays. Nature and cultural tourism is gaining ground this summer to the "classic" sun and beach tourism in Spain. This could be an opportunity for Finland as a nature destination. The demand for luxury and wellbeing, is increasing due to the security of the exclusive, according to several travel agencies specialized in luxury and experiential travel and part of Traveler Made Network

Summer 2020: Some tour operators started selling small groups for Lapland in summer, mainly August. According to AY local sales team in Spain, demand for small groups to Finland this summer has increased for the last two weeks. There is a greater interest from travel agencies to create more product to Finland; another seasons of the year such as this summer and another regions of the country. Tourism demand expected to start its recovery from July onwards at a domestic level until August-September. There could be some traffic to Finland in September–October from nature hunters and from luxury travel segment depending on whether exogenous factors are favorable to the future traveler: Safe tourist corridors between European countries, uplifting travel bans, availability of air connections and product balance: competitive pricing.

Winter 2020-21: Our local partners are still confident that they will still be able to have some sales for this next winter in Lapland even that it will be less than half the volume they sold compared to last year.

The demand for the Lapland product has not stopped growing since the summer. Travel Agencies have been very active in the market with several campaigns promoting Lapland giving a clear message to their customers to book with confidence and giving flexibility when changing or canceling your itinerary.

The reality is that there is a mixture of confusion and disappointment among Spanish travel professionals who believe that a negative covid test 72 hours before the client's arrival at the destination and another one on arrival at the airport would guarantee a safe stay in Finland for about a week.

Some tour operator has changed its program in Lapland for this winter adjusting the stay up to a maximum of 72 hours. Although most of them agree that the programs they have in Lapland with all the activities involved cannot be less than 5 days / 4 nights.

Finland's USP's: Trade partners market Finland as a Safe & Sustainable country, Unspoiled Nature-Cleanest air & water, Experience "Natural Luxury", slow life in nature.

According to latest Visit Finland Brand Tracking Report from 2019, nature and winter themes come through strongly; other points of interest that arouse the attention of Spanish travelers are northern lights, Santa Claus, saunas and of course, nature and landscapes.

Overnights from Spain and interest towards lifestyle of the Nordic countries kept growing strongly during the past 5 years in the Nordics. 

Travel trade update

Spanish travel trade intermediation expects to work in a scenario where travel budgets will be reduced by between 30% and 50%. In this regard, it is essential to understand the priorities and conditions of travelers when they decide on the destinations to which they will travel, to offer alternatives that optimize spending and give certainty to tourists.

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as European agents and intermediaries point out, the aspects to which travelers will give the greatest importance and which will be key to boosting reservations in the short and medium term.

FITUR, 3rd largest Tourism Fair in the world, announced the dates of its 2021 edition: 20 to 24th January 2021. IBTM, World´s leading global event for the meetings and events industry will be held virtually from the 1st to the 3rd of December 2020.

CEAV, one of the main travel agency associations, promotes the digitization of its services among its partners as a consequence of the covid-19 crisis. Barceló and Globalia travel agencies to resume merger in autumn; this group will consist of 1500 points of sale throughout Spain. It is expected that after the covid crisis, In the distribution channels there will be consolidation and specialization. Travel agencies accelerate its reopening; most of them are already opened since mid-June.

Published "Good Practices Guidelines for the Tourism Sector": this guide (produced by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, coordinated by the Ministry of Health and with industry participation) is a tool to help guarantee activity within businesses or workplaces and also to protect the health of their staff and clients. IFEMA is preparing to return back to activity: In early 2021 we highlight, as every year, FITUR will be held as planned, from the 20 to 24 January, with all of the health and safety protocols required. MICE travel association are leading in the tourism sector the establishment of common protocols of action to guarantee their operations as "covid safe".

About 90% of travel agency employees affected by a temporary employment regulation file that the government has just extended until June 30. Because most travel agents are working from home, there has been exponential growth in training needs; a large number of suppliers including DMO's have provided content to meet this demand. According to CEAV, main association of travel agencies in Spain, travel agencies will regain importance in their intermediation work by helping the potential buyer increase their sense of security at the time of purchasing certain kind of trips. New technologies such as VR (virtual reality) will greatly help the new traveler profile that will want to have more certainty about its futuretrip. Digitalization: great opportunity for the trade to boost new digital tools utilization.

Following a recent survey, more than 48 % of generation X (between 40 and 55 years old) will choose nature tourism; more than 41 % of seniors (55 years old onwards) will choose health and wellbeing tourism. Lapland is the key destination for wintertime: families with children / luxury travel. For 2021, we have the opportunity to develop the "undiscovered & unspoiled" Finland: Lakeland & Coastal-Archipelago. 

Updated 12.10.

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Sales & Marketing Manager
David Campano
+34 634 718 855