Spain Is Rising in Popularity for Touristsâ"And the US Is Falling
There are a few things Spain does better than we do: tapas, picturesque small towns, and that whole siesta thing. Now, the country is set to overtake the U.S. in yet another way: by drawing more tourists.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in terms of visitor numbers, Spain is "expected" to surpass the U.S. as the world's second most popular country for tourists in 2017. (The Independent reports that while the official numbers won't be released until spring 2018, Spain's second-place finish is all but guaranteed.) Despite very public incidencesâ"a terrorist attack on Barcelona's famed Las Ramblas in August; a Catalan independence battle; protests relating to overtourismâ"visitor numbers "soared" in 2017, according to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and grew nearly eight percent over 2016.
Meanwhile, tour ist numbers in the U.S. declined by five percent in the first quarter and three percent in the second quarter of 2017, following Donald Trumpâs inauguration. As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of Commerce released data showing that between January and March of last year, 697,791 fewer foreign travelers visited the U.S.â"a 4.2 percent drop, or an estimated corresponding loss of $2.7 billion in tourist dollars.
Based on current projections, some 82.2 million international tourists visited Spain in 2017, compared with 72.9 million visitors to the U.S. The world's most visited tourist destination? Franceâ"which had an estimated 88.9 million visitors in 2017â"remains comfortably at the top of the pack.Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain