Héctor Gómez (right) at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London. | Biel Aliño

The Spanish government has made a “very positive” assessment of the WTM in London for Spain’s tourism interests, while at the same time congratulating itself on the good forecasts for British tourist arrivals for 2024, according to a press release.

The acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, and the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rosana Morillo, represented Spain at the 43rd edition of the fair, presenting the progress made in recent years to become “a world leader in sustainable tourism, in its three aspects, environmental, economic and social”.

Both visited the stands of various autonomous communities such as the Balearics, the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia, where they held meetings with the presidents and councillors of these autonomous communities, who were present at the fair.

According to Gómez, “Spain is a leader in sustainable tourism, our destinations combine quality and excellence with respect for the environment and awareness of the role of tourism in society”.
For her part, the Secretary of State also held working meetings with the main CEOS of the British tourism sector, in which the good prospects for the year 2024 were presented.

Morillo was pleased that “the available data suggest that the United Kingdom will continue to be our main issuing country next year, so our presence at this fair is very important for the sector”.

The opening of new air routes between the UK and Spain was discussed in the meetings with the most relevant business representatives of the sector. According to the global travel data provider OAG, air connections between the two countries by 2024 will be operated from 27 British and 31 Spanish airports.

Related news

In addition, the Secretary of State held an important meeting at the Foreign Office with the Director of Consular Affairs and Crisis, Jennifer Anderson, in which they discussed issues of interest regarding the stays of British tourists in Spain and discussed collaboration projects for future seasons.

The communiqué highlights the United Kingdom as a leading mature market for Spain, which “will close 2023 at levels very close to pre-pandemic levels in terms of the number of international arrivals in 2019, and will greatly exceed tourist spending in relation to that year”.

So far this year and up to September, Britons spent almost 15,854 million euros, 15% more than in the same period a year ago and 7% more than in 2019. In terms of arrivals, Spain received more than 13 million British tourists in the first nine months of the year, 14.6% more than in the same period of 2022.

In addition, coinciding with this edition of the WTM, Turespaña has launched an ambitious ‘tax free’ shopping campaign for British visitors with the aim of increasing the loyalty of this market and its spending.

“With this measure we are reinforcing Spain’s image as a high-level destination, with a wide range of products and a vocation for social tourism, exporting our culture and exchanging experiences,“ said the Minister of Tourism.

For Gómez, “the United Kingdom is our main market in terms of the number of tourists and spending at the destination, a market that continues to grow and that has left behind the uncertainties of Brexit and the pandemic. Moreover, our prospects tell us that there is still a great deal of room for improvement”.